Rolls to unveil all-electric 'Phantom' at Geneva

The first electric-powered Rolls-Royce car will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 1 March, the luxury vehicle maker announced on Sunday.

The one-off Phantom 102EX, to be fully electric-powered, will then go on a global tour taking in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America, according to the Goodwood, England-based company. However, it did not say when the car would go into production.

Rolls-Royce said the prototype would be based on its top-end "Phantom" model, and will be put through various tests throughout 2011.

The normal Phantom is powered by a 6.75-litre 12-cylinder engine, at least three to four times the size of the engine on a typical family sedan, and consumes about one litre of fuel for ever six kilometres travelled.

''We have engineered the world's first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment,'' chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said. ''With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future.''

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said it wants to test opinions and reactions from owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and the media.