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Rolls-Royce moves to make biggest change in brand history

The luxury British car maker is preparing to undergo a massive transformation as the industry evolves as the automotive landscape changes quickly.

Pent-up demand from the early 2020s thanks to a chip shortage during and after the covid pandemic has made it difficult for dealers to keep cars on their lots.

Increased demand has spelled a cost squeeze for the average consumer; a new car costs an average of more than $48,000 — as of May 2023 only three models were available in the U.S. market for $20,000 or less.

A spike in desire for vehicles may cause one to think that dealers don’t need to innovate; if something’s selling successfully, why change it?

Not the case for some luxury makers, specifically Rolls-Royce, which made a historic announcement about the direction of its brand, a pivotal decision affecting all its vehicles.

Beginning in 2030, Rolls Royce will start phasing out all its engines that run on internal combustion, replacing them with electric technology as the English car maker will be discontinuing all gas-powered cars.

Not only will its entire fleet be electric, but the beloved V-12 engine Rolls Royce uses in its current form will cease to exist, given the company’s new direction.

“By the end of 2030, there will be no more V12. Series 2 cars will be V12, brand new Rolls-Royces always be electric,” Rolls Royce chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös told said, adding, “We’re not going to have everything; we’re a small company.”

“We’ve not fallen out of love with V12, and we’ll invest in it to meet new requirements. It’s a lovely transformation from V12 to EV,” Müller-Ötvös continued.

That likely means that some beloved models, including the Phantom, Ghost and Cullinan, will still use the V-12, at least for the next seven years.

Müller-Ötvös and the Rolls Royce team had been hinting at change for some time. In 2021, he called the unveiling of Rolls-Royce’s first fully electric car, the Spectre, the “most significant day” since the company was founded.

“Today is the most significant day in the history of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since 4th May, 1904. On that date, our founding fathers, Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce, first met and agreed that they were going to create ‘the best motor car in the world’,” Müller-Ötvös said.

“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.’”

“I answered with an unambiguous promise: ‘Rolls-Royce will go electric, starting this decade.’ Today, I’m keeping my word,” he added.

In mid-September, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would delay England’s intention to ban all gas-powered cars by five years to 2035 in order to do “what’s right for the country.”

Many automakers, including GM, Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Volvo, have made varying plans to go all-electric within the next 10 to 15 years.


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