Rolls-Royce Teases Its First EV, Plus Commits to Go All-Electric by 2030

The first electric car from the brand, named the Spectre, will arrive by the end of 2023.

Rolls-Royce Spectre
Rolls-Royce Spectre.


Rolls-Royce is known for its big, expensive cars that are powered by large gas-guzzling 12-cylinder engines, but that is going to change soon. The BMW-owned brand announced it will stop the production of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2030. This aligns with several other automakers that have made similar announcements—luxury carmakers that have also pledged to go electric include Volkswagen’s Bentley and Jaguar’s Land Rover.

“With this new product we set out our credentials for the full electrification of our entire product portfolio by 2030," said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös. "By then, Rolls-Royce will no longer be in the business of producing or selling any internal combustion engine products.

As a premier car brand, Rolls-Royce sells fewer vehicles than other mainstream brands: In Q1 of 2021, it delivered 1,380 cars. Even so, it's making the commitment to go electric. More broadly speaking, it suggests the days of the internal combustion engine are about to come to an end. In less than a decade most of the new cars you can buy will be fully electric.

The first electric car from Rolls-Royce will be named the Spectre and it will arrive by the end of 2023. This news is big since in the past Rolls-Royce hasn’t been too enthusiastic about killing off its gas-powered engines. Although Rolls-Royce was a bit coy about its future electric vehicle (EV) plans, its Architecture of Luxury platform that debuted in 2017 is designed to work with electric motors.

“Today, 117 years later, I am proud to announce that Rolls-Royce is to begin the on-road testing program for an extraordinary new product that will elevate the global all-electric car revolution and create the first – and finest – super-luxury product of its type. This is not a prototype. It’s the real thing, it will be tested in plain sight and our clients will take first deliveries of the car in the fourth quarter of 2023,” Müller-Ötvös stated.

It remains to be seen if Rolls-Royce buyers will gravitate towards electric vehicles since in the past Rolls-Royce has stated its buyers did not want to deal with the hassle of charging an EV. But then again, EVs have changed a lot in the past few years: For example, look at the Lucid Air, which can travel up to 520 miles on a single charge.

There’s also the fact that electric cars are smoother and quieter than gas-powered cars, which wealthy car buyers will love.

“We embark on this bold new future with a huge advantage. Electric drive is uniquely and perfectly suited to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, more so than any other automotive brand. It is silent, refined and creates torque almost instantly, going on to generate tremendous power.  This is what we at Rolls-Royce call waftability,” said Müller-Ötvös.

To go along with the announcement, Rolls-Royce also released a few teaser photos of the Spectre. Although it’s covered in camouflage we can see that it’s a sleek two-door coupe that looks similar to the Rolls-Royce Wraith that was recently discontinued. But Rolls-Royce is quick to point out that the Spectre is not a successor to the Wraith.

Rolls-Royce stopped short of releasing any performance specs or the estimated driving range of the Spectre. For it to win over Rolls-Royce customers, it’s expected that the performance of the Spectre will be similar to its current V-12 powered cars. Rolls-Royce will soon begin testing the Spectre by driving prototype versions over 1.5 million miles around the world.

It’s not known which electric models Rolls-Royce is planning after the Spectre is introduced, but we can expect a full range of high-end electric luxury cars from Rolls-Royce that will further elevate EVs.