Rolls-Royce, a marque famous for luxury cars ideal for chauffeur service, have unveiled their very first fully electric car and announced it will come to market at the end of 2023.
The new coupe, the Rolls-Royce Spectre, is part of a pledge by the company to make all Rolls-Royce cars fully electric by the end of the decade.
Based on the same aluminium space-frame architecture that debuted with the 2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom, this will be the first car by the century-old marque to be electrified, and according to CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, fulfils a long-standing prophecy made by the eponymous founders.
Sir Henry Royce was fascinated by electrical engines and Charles Rolls believed that once fixed charging stations and battery life was improved, electric cars will become the future of motoring.
This was not without merit at the time, as at the turn of the 20th Century there were nearly double the number of electric cars as there were petrol-powered ones, and entrepreneurs of the day such as Thomas Edison were hard at work trying to produce powerful enough batteries.
However, because of the short-range of EVs of the era and the considerable amount of time needed to recharge an electric battery of that vintage, petrol cars quickly overtook them, particularly in the form of the Ford Model T and its contemporaries.
The real end of this early era that had captured the imagination of Charles Rolls was the invention of the electric starter motor, which ended the need for the dangerous and cumbersome hand crank.
This, along with the muffler, the increased range of petrol cars and the development of the petrol station meant that it took over as the dominant way to power cars for the next century, although the end of that dominance is in sight.