As is typical of 2020, Bentley hosted a big virtual conference today to make a series of announcements about its next 100 years. The British marque has huge historical value, but it knows that it can’t live on past glories. A series of big headlines came to light, but the most prominent is its intention to become a fully electric vehicle manufacturer by 2030.
This revelation comes as part of Bentley’s plans to become totally carbon neutral by 2030. Today, the factory is already carbon neutral, but they want to be totally sustainable ‘from cradle to grave’ when it comes to their products. In fact, the aim longterm is to be carbon positive and absorb more carbon than it produces.
When can we expect to see the first all-electric Bentley? Set your clocks for 2025 when Bentley will reveal an all-new battery-powered car based on a fresh platform. There was strong emphasis from Bentley directors that the model will still retain all of Bentley’s core values, and that55% of customers asked would buy an electric Bentley within the next five years.
In the run up to 2025 we can expect a pair of plug-in hybrid models to join the range in 2021. Considering the current range and the fact that Bentayga already has a PHEV option, we’d expect these cars to take the form of a plug-in Flying Spur and Continental.
PHEVs are clearly the next steppingstone for Bentley, and most other manufacturers, but it would appear that Bentley customers might be ready sooner than others to go full EV. Data from the current crop of Bentayga Hybrid owners highlights how 30 - 50% of journeys are completed purely using electrical power.
When asked if the all-new electric model would take the form of a flagship car in the same vein as the recently departed Mulsanne, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark remarked ‘watch this space’. We’d expect the Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car (pictured) to strongly inform the EV in terms of design and sustainability.
We all knew electric Bentleys were coming, but I think we’re all surprised by just how soon.