In line with Volkswagen’s shift to electric vehicles, the luxury subsidiary Bentley is also working on electrifying its vehicles. The traditional British brand wants to offer only electric cars from 2030. As early as 2025, an all-new electric car will be put on the market each year. with the world on sunday CEO Adrian Hallmark spoke about the plans.
“We plan to end production of the engine by 2030 at the latest,” Hallmark confirmed. The company’s last combustion engine will likely be a GT model. This is the sportiest type of car, as the classic engine will last the longest.
Although he has “no idea” whether customers will follow the switch to electric driving — people’s attitudes are changing, according to the Bentley chief. In representative surveys with their customers and people from the same group of buyers five years ago, 40 percent said they could imagine buying a luxury electric vehicle. Two years ago, the number had risen to 49 percent. One is confident that today it will be more than 60 per cent. The CEO also sees this growing in China, where customers, whose average age is 36, are much younger than in Europe, and millionaires and fans are “British”.
Bentley currently offers classic combustion engines as well as plug-in hybrid technology for two models. The first electric car is still a long way off. Bentley’s boss said the Pure Stromer still had a useful and sober image. “Like a Tesla, where everything is clean and functional and you can only choose from a few colors.” If Bentley is going to lose market turnover because electric mobility hasn’t fully established itself there yet, that will be offset in other markets.
‘The tipping point has been reached’
Like many, Hallmark sees the lack of charging infrastructure as the biggest obstacle to switching to electric vehicles. However, in his opinion, this would not be a problem after five to seven years, because the tipping point had been reached. A high percentage of green electricity in the grid is important, which is crucial to how much CO2 savings e-cars do compared to combustion engines.
Bentley’s sustainability plans go beyond moving into an electric vehicle manufacturer. According to the company, production has been CO2-neutral for three years, and now the supply chain, vehicle operation and recycling should not be causing any CO2. “Customers expect the product to be sustainable,” Hallmark said. The days of conventional driving are numbered.
Looking at the future model range, the Bentley chief made it clear that the series named Continental (sedan), Flying Spur (coupé & convertible) and Bentayga (SUV) likely won’t go away because of the brand’s value. “We will likely keep the names, but the vehicles will be completely redesigned.”
Das erste, für 2025 angekündigte vollelektrische Auto von Bentley wird laut früheren Aussagen Hallmarks enorm leistungsfähig: Es soll bis zu etwa 1400 PS (1030 kW) leisten und damit in etdenwa vmphon 1,5 Sprintunh 097 km ability. However, acceleration should not be the car’s main selling point, but “smooth overtaking performance through massive torque on demand”. Rumor has it that the new electric vehicle will be either a long-legged sedan or an SUV. The technical basis is the PPE (Premium Performance Electric) architecture, which is being developed by sister companies Audi and Porsche.