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Rolls-Royce to unveil electric car next month

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce announced Sunday it had developed its first electric-powered vehicle, which will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.

The English company will use the one-off Phantom 102EX to see how customers respond to a fully electric-powered car, and will take it on a tour of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

"We have engineered the world's first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment," chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said in a statement.

"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."

The company wants to ascertain how long the car can drive between re-charges and how it operates in extreme weather conditions, but there are no plans yet to develop a production version.

"I must be convinced that any alternative drive-train we choose for the future delivers an authentic Rolls-Royce experience," Muller-Otvos said.

"It must be a technology that is right for our customers, our brand and which sets us on a sound footing for a sustainable future."

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a division of German car company BMW and is no longer connected to aero engine maker Rolls-Royce PLC.