Rolls-Royce to sell only electric cars from 2030

Image: BMW Group

The BMW-owned brand published the first images of its new EV, called Spectre, late last week – but they do not show the coupe in full and no details on the specification has been released.

Spectre is due to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2023 and, between now and then, a global on-road testing programme spanning 2.5 million kilometres will be completed. Rolls-Royce has stated this will simulate 400 years of vehicle use.

The launch of Spectre will mark the beginning of a seven-year process to expand Rolls-Royce’s EV portfolio and to phase-out all models with an internal combustion engine.

Rolls-Royce committed last year to releasing its first pure EV this decade, but “only when the time is right and every element meets [our] technical, aesthetic and performance standards”. These requirements have now been met.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ chief executive officer Torsten Muller-Otvos said the Spectre testing programme will “elevate the global all-electric car revolution and create the first – and finest – super-luxury product of its type”. He also called the plan to transition to EVs by 2030 the “most significant” turning point for the business since its foundation.

EV vision

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Rolls-Royce described the launch of Spectre and the 2030 EV commitment as a “prophecy fulfilled”.  

The firm’s co-founder Charles Rolls gave an interview to The Motor-Car Journal in 1990, after test-driving an early EV, stating: “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean… There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.  But for now, I do not anticipate that they will be very serviceable – at least for many years to come.”

Rolls went on to co-found Rolls-Royce with Sir Henry Royce four years after giving that interview.

BMW Group’s EV strategy

Summer 2020 saw BMW unveiling a new climate plan, including a commitment to cut emissions from vehicle use by one-third by the end of the decade.

It has since strengthened its targets, pledging to halve the emissions generated by its vehicles while driving by 2030. This source of emissions accounts for 70% of the company’s entire greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint across all scopes. A 2019 baseline was chosen for the target.

Another new target was set, to reduce life-cycle emissions per vehicle by 40% within the same timeframe.

BMW is planning to have a portfolio of 25 EV models by the end of 2025.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Kim Warren says:

    Great – and is RollsRoyce going to cut the 35 tons CO2 they produce to *build* each car, including EVs? – 10 to 20 times the annual emissions-in-use for a fossil vehicle. Same for all other luxury and SUV car makers.

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