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Rolls Royce 102EX: Not Good Enough For Production, But Still Pimpin'

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On: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 8:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Rolls Royce 102EX: Not Good Enough For Production, But Still Pimpin'

The Rolls Royce 102EX may be the lamest of lame ducks, after Rolls announced that it will not be developing an electric vehicle in the near future, but it's still going to be a presence on the world concept circuit. Rolls engineers are still testing the 102EX, and Rolls PR folks will be transporting the car in continuance of its world tour.

After Torsten Mueller-Otvos told AutoEvolution earlier this month that there just wasn't a market for an electric Rolls Royce at this time, you might have expected the Geneva-debuted 102EX to disappear quietly. However, Rolls will continue the world tour that started in Goodwood back in May. The car will travel to Singapore and Beijing in late July and early August, hop the Pacific to Pebble Beach in LA in mid-August, move onward to a regional European tour and Japan in September, and then make a final stop in Dubai in October. A pretty busy couple of months for a concept that's not going anywhere.

More interesting than the world tour is the fact that Rolls is still working on battery technology. It recently performed some heat tests on the batteries at the MIRA1 research facility in Warwickshire. The tests provided information about battery performance in high heat and humidity, which will be used in optimizing the car's performance during tours and test driving.

Andrew Martin, 102EX chief engineer, explains: "The tests have furnished us with important data about the effects of heat and humidity on 102EX's battery and management systems. For example we are clear that the battery management system, which maintains safety and optimal operation of individual cells, will inhibit charging at extreme temperatures. Practically speaking, this may mean finding locations in which the car's cells can cool after test drives before a re-charge can begin."

After inviting public comment, Rolls decided that an electric car is impractical for its customer base, a customer base that tends to live in the suburbs outside of the city centers where they work. In other words, range issues killed another EV.


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