A Rolls-Royce powered by hydrogen is a possibility, according to the brand's new CEO Ian Robertson.

"Our parent company BMW is committed to hydrogen," Robertson told Automotive News Europe. "The engineering is proven. Once the logistics of providing the fuel are resolved, I wouldn't rule out - or rule in - hydrogen becoming a Rolls-Royce attribute."

As part of its plans to produce cars with lower exhaust emissions, BMW is working on using hydrogen to fuel conventional internal-combustion engines.

Other carmakers are developing fuel cells as their hydrogen-based technology.

By 2008, BMW says it will begin selling a few hundred 7 series sedans with either a V8 or V12 engine that can run on petrol and hydrogen.

These will be targeted at cities that suffer high levels of air pollution in Europe, the US and Asia - such as San Francisco and Berlin.

Robertson said Rolls-Royce could piggy-back on BMW's hydrogen technology because the Phantom's V12 engine is closely related to BMW's V12.