Pillar to Post: Peter Welander's Blog
News and comment from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander
Wireless electric Rolls-Royce
March 02, 2011
Perhaps I’m inferring too much, but it seems that Rolls-Royce is trying to show that people rich enough to buy its cars may have an environmental conscience after all. In an effort that is characterized as unprecedented in its modern history, the company has made an experimental Phantom electric vehicle that is on display at the Geneva Motor Show.
If simply having an electric car isn’t enough, this vehicle adds another feature that it can be charged without a cable. It is equipped with inductive power transfer technology that will charge it by parking over transmitter pads embedded in your driveway, garage, or special parking space at the office. HaloIPT is providing this system and says that it can tolerate wide variations in alignment and its power transfer efficiencies rival a cable. This approach has many possible applications with much more mundane vehicles, but you can’t blame the company for wanting to draw attention with something more interesting than a forklift.
Rolls-Royce has set up a new Website to follow the debate if electric luxury can be perfection or is necessarily a compromise. There’s an interesting video on the site that’s worth watching. It goes into greater detail about the technology. (Don’t ask me how to pronounce the last name of the CEO.) Actually having an electric drive train makes a lot of sense. The low-end torque of electric motors should be able to give that feeling of power a Phantom normally gets out of a V-12.
The company says it’s going to take the car around the world in the coming year to show it to customers and journalists, and discuss what electric luxury is all about. I’d be happy to render an opinion. I like to reflect on such questions. One I’ve been considering a great deal lately is when will the exhaust system will fall out of my 13-year-old Volvo. If you have an answer, I’m all ears.