Luxury electric powered passenger vehicles are nothing new. Electric taxi cabs first rolled onto the streets of London in 1897. On today’s London streets you will start to see the emergence of modern luxury hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) such as the Mercedes EQV and hybrid S-Class and Range Rover. With the electric Rolls-Royce in development the super-luxury sector will soon be catered for. Discover the future of electric chauffeur-driven travel.
In 1900, Rolls-Royce co-founder Charles Rolls said “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean”. One hundred and twenty one years later Rolls-Royce announce the start of on-road testing of Spectre. The outer worldly named car will be the first electric Rolls-Royce.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars introduced Spectre in September 2021.
Hybrid chauffeur cars
The hybrid chauffeur has been around since 2006, when private hire pioneers like iChauffeur introduced hybrid Lexus chauffeur-driven cars in London.
Electric chauffeur cars
With the Mercedes EQV luxury people carrier, iChauffeur have introduced their first fully electric vehicles.
“We believe that luxury travel needn’t cost the earth. Our clients have been quick to embrace our more sustainable transport solutions. They loved our hybrid cars and many our excited by the possibilities of the all-electric EQV.”Will Senior Director iChauffeur Ltd
When asked what has surprised you most about the move to more sustainable chauffeur vehicles, Senior replied:
“Hydrogen! We took part in the first Eco-Rally. A reverse London to Brighton rally. We followed the Hydrogen BMW 7 Series demonstration vehicle. It ran flawlessly. This was in 2007! I guess it is the lack of infrastructure that has effectively finished this technology. All the focus seems to be on electric cars but it would not surprise me if hydrogen powered chauffeur cars became a reality one day.”
London’s electric taxis
The hum of electric taxis in 1897, made the Bersey cabs become known as “Hummingbirds”. Unfortunately due to the heavy weight of the batteries and their poor range the Hummingbirds became extinct. They were dreadfully unreliable. Their fate sealed by the arrival of cheap internal combustion engined cars which were lighter and had a much greater range.
The electric chauffeur
The electric chauffeur today has to plan his itinerary carefully to allow for the limits of EV battery range. When asked about how chauffeurs are managing this Will Senior explained, “Our chauffeurs are very much a team, and they are sharing their knowledge to help smooth this initial transition process.”
The future of chauffeuring is electric. Let’s see where this journey leads. Will hydrogen vehicles become viable? Can luxury chauffeur-driven travel be sustainable? Time will tell.