Electric Rolls-Royce to be unveiled

rolls-royce_102EX.top.jpgSo far, this image of a translucent "Spirit of Ecstacy" hood ornament is all that Rolls-Royce has revealed of the 102EX experimental car. By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Rolls-Royce has always gone hand-in-hand with "green," just not the environmental kind. But now, earth-conscious millionaires wanting to cruise in luxury may be intrigued by an all-electric Rolls-Royce Phantom to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1st.

So far, there are no plans to produce the 102EX, as it's called, for consumers. This will be strictly an experimental car, Rolls-Royce said.

The car will be used to research range and performance as well as to gauge public reaction to the whole idea of an electric Rolls-Royce, the automaker said.

"I must be convinced that any alternative drive-train we choose for the future delivers an authentic Rolls-Royce experience," Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said in an announcement.

The gasoline-powered Rolls-Royce Phantom production car is an extremely large, heavy and expensive automobile. With a base price of $380,000, the standard gasoline-powered Phantom weighs a little over 5,500 pounds -- almost as much as a Chevrolet Tahoe full-sized SUV -- and is powered by a 453-horsepower 6.8-liter V12 engine. It gets 11 miles per gallon in city driving and about 18 on the highway, according to EPA estimates.

Among the Phantom's available options are a back seat refrigerator with a matched set of crystal tumblers and a crystal decanter. The car also comes with large silver and wood tray tables for the use of back seat passengers and silver-handled umbrellas that are stored in special drying compartments accessible as the back doors are opened.

It's not clear, yet, if the 102EX would have the full compliment of Rolls-Royce luxury accessories. Full details and specifications of the 102EX will be announced on March 1st, Rolls-Royce said.

Rolls-Royce is a subsidiary of the German luxury carmaker BMW, which also owns the British compact car brand Mini. Both BMW and Mini have previously launched experimental fleets of electric cars.

BMW also announced Monday that it is launching an electric car subsidiary called BMWi. The new subsidiary will launch in 2013 with two vehicles, the BMW i3, a small "city car," and the BMW i8, a high-performance plug-in hybrid car.

Both cars will have bodies made from aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, BMW said.

The automaker also set up a New York-based venture capital fund, BMW i Ventures, with an initial $100 million investment. BMW i Ventures will seek out technology partners for BMW, the automaker said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,979.13 59.54 0.35%
Nasdaq 4,526.48 -1.03 -0.02%
S&P 500 1,986.51 4.91 0.25%
Treasuries 2.43 0.02 0.87%
Data as of 10:28pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.52 0.07 0.45%
Apple Inc 100.57 0.04 0.04%
General Electric Co 26.36 0.31 1.19%
Intel Corp 34.50 0.16 0.47%
Staples Inc 11.32 -0.30 -2.58%
Data as of 4:01pm ET

Sections

This month, Delaware became the first state to pass a law giving heirs the right to access the online accounts and assets of someone who has passed away. More

Median income is up 3.8% since 2011, though it's still down since the economic recovery began in 2009. More

Small business owners say the economy is still their biggest challenge, which keeps them from expanding and hiring, according to a CNNMoney-Manta survey. More

This month, Delaware became the first state to pass a law giving heirs the right to access the online accounts and assets of someone who has passed away. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.