Rolls RoyceHere’s what needs to happen for electric cars to become the new industry standard: They need to be seen as sexier, manlier, and more upscale than original fossil-fuel flavor. We know, we know, but don’t shoot the messenger. Fortunately, Rolls Royce is now making inroads into the last one (and maybe the first) by unveiling a new electric car.

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The Rolls-Royce 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric, will be used as part of a pilot project to test the future of EVs with the car company’s core drivers. If it goes into production, this will be one of the first EVs for the super luxury market. “We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment,’ said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. ‘With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drivetrains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future.”

This is basically straight-up eco-friendliness as status symbol — you think a Rolls driver can’t afford gas? Rolls drivers probably get their gas gold-plated. They COULD have a car that runs on Faberge eggs, but the company is hoping that they won’t want to, because electric cars are cool. You hear that, American masses? Electric cars are going ASPIRATIONAL.

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