Rolls-Royce set to announce first EV

Published: 28 September 2020

 Patent reveals ‘Silent Shadow’ badge
 Could debut in 2022 with Phantom
 And then Cullinan in 2027 

Rolls-Royce has revealed more details about its electric past, as it looks to make an imminent announcement on its electric future. In a release today, Rolls-Royce once againconfirmed the three following statements:

  • The marque will introduce an all-electric car this decade (2020 - 2030).
  • This car will be a pure BEV, not a hybrid of any kind.
  • It will be launched only when the time is right, and every element meets Rolls-Royce's technical, aesthetic and performance standards.

Alongside the above, CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: ‘Right now, our company is embarking on an historic undertaking to create the first, super-luxury car of its type. This will happen sooner than many thought possible, through the incredible skills, expertise, vision and dedication of our engineers, designers and specialists at the Home of Rolls-Royce.’

Last year CAR revealed fresh details of Rolls-Royce’s electrification plans – and you can read more about them below. 

Rolls-Royce goes electric: what you need to know 

A new report from BMW Blog suggests what Goodwood’s first EV might be called. Eagle-eyed members of an i4 forum have spotted a new German patent application from BMW, and it registers the name ‘Silent Shadow’.

Read more about the BMW i7 here

Silent Shadow: Rolls-Royce speak for eDrive

Found by members of the i4 Talk forum, the patent was taken out by Rolls-Royce’s owners earlier this month, and it points to something EV-powered, and it’s likely the name of an upcoming trim, rather than an entirely new car. 

If real, it’s a neat nod to the brand’s history and the famous ‘Silver Shadow’ badge – and would follow the same direction of nostalgia and innovation that BMW is steering the brand. It’s basically Rolls-Royce for eDrive.

Electric Rolls-Royce

CAR understands Rolls-Royce is already working on an electric variant of the Phantom, which should hit production in 2022. As you’d expect, Rolls-Royce’s Bavarian owners are doing as much as they can to dilute the heavy cost of EV R&D, so the electric Phantom will share powertrain parts with the forthcoming i7 exec saloon (below), and even the M5.  

Of course, the ‘Phantom Silent Shadow’ is still tentative at this stage. Our sources reveal that early working numbers pointed to the first all-electric Rolls weighing 3.6 tonnes – therefore requiring it to be homologated as a HGV, and any driver to have a truck driving licence. We’re hoping Rolls has managed to trim off some of that weight for the production model. 

Further down the line in 2027, Rolls-Royce also plans to release an all-electric version of the Cullinan – potentially called a Cullinan Silent Shadow – though its time frame will be inextricably linked to the Phantom EV.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast