‘We Will Not Do Hybrids:’ Rolls-Royce Has a Plan to Go Straight to Electric
Hoping to buy a Rolls-Royce hybrid at some point? It’s not going to happen. According to the BMW-owned company’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Otvös, Rolls-Royce will move straight to electric, and will do so within the next 10 years.
“There is an electric future for Rolls-Royce,” Müller-Otvös told Bloomberg. “We have not made our plan about what comes first, and what comes when, but we know that we will go full electric. We will not do hybrids or whatever. Our proposition is full electric. It will come in the next decade, step by step by step.”
Parent company BMW (BMWYY) has more immediate plans for electrification, although it is relatively cautious by current industry standards due to battery costs.
Rival luxury car maker Bentley said earlier this year that it intends to launch an electric vehicle “not so far in the future.” That car will use the architecture developed by Porsche—like Bentley a Volkswagen (VLKAY) subsidiary—for its Taycan sports car, which will go on sale in around a year’s time.
Müller-Otvös hinted at Rolls-Royce’s retort during a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg, associated with the company’s North American press launch for its Cullinan SUV (“You can drive up in style in front of the opera building.”) The Cullinan provides another example of Rolls-Royce taking its time—Bentley and Lamborghini have already released their entries in the class.
Rolls-Royce’s SUV is not exactly fuel efficient, getting less than 20 miles to the gallon. Müller-Otvös was unapologetic about the vehicle’s girth, saying “Rolls-Royce needs presence.” He also said that, although the company intends to release an electric car, “we will stick with our beloved 12-cylinder as long as we can.”