When Rolls-Royce invited 500 potential buyers to take its experimental all-electric Phantom 102 EX for a test drive, the drivers were impressed with its fast acceleration and quiet modus operandi. In the back of their minds, however, was an apprehension that the vehicle had a limited range and could not be quickly refueled. Thus, when asked if they would consider buying the 102 EX, the answer was a resounding “No”.
Recently it was revealed that Rolls-Royce persevered on its initiative to develop a niche green car, this time coming up with the schematics of a diesel engine Rolls. Again when asked if they were interested, potential buyers said “No, thanks.”
According to industry commentators, Rolls-Royce customers see gasoline-powered engines as the fastest, most powerful and most fun to drive type of engine. Diesel is seen as an accommodation meant to appease people who are looking to save some money by using a vehicle that is more fuel efficient. In other words, not the kind of people who would buy a Rolls-Royce.
Diesel is indeed more fuel efficient, adding as much as 16 mpg to a gasoline-powered vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Instead of using spark plugs, a diesel engine uses the heat of compression to ignite a fuel-air mixture before it heads into the combustion chamber. Diesel engines are versatile and can run on fuel derived from plant matter such as biodiesel from vegetable oil or biomass to liquid from cellulose.
It is doubtful that Rolls-Royce will pursue any of these avenues, though, considering that such options are even less likely to warm-over their demographic.
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