Bentley opts to give all-electric a spin by 2030
Bentley has a reputation for creating stylish and luxurious models of cars over the decades. Over a century after its founding, it has announced plans to make electric-only models by 2030.
Founded by brothers Walter and Horace Bentley in 1919, Bentley Motors has been working tirelessly to produce high-end vehicles which have managed to stand the test of time. One of its most defining moments was its 40-year ownership by another car giant, Rolls Royce.
In more recent years, Bentley has been the property of Volkswagen AG, working out of headquarters in Crewe, England. According to the latest figures, Bentley turned over as much as €2.1 billion in 2019 alone, reflecting its sizable impact on the car industry to this day.
Now, the legendary manufacturer has set its sights on a future without petrol and diesel, towards a future of electric cars, while retaining that signature style consumers have come to love.
Aim to be carbon-neutral
With the UK leading the global charge in trying to ditch petrol, diesel and hybrid cars entirely by 2035, Bentley’s efforts do much to accelerate this move. The manufacturer has announced it intends to make the transition to just plug-in hybrid models by 2026, before moving to electric-only cars entirely by 2030.
In its official statement, Bentley outlined its wish to become a leader in ‘sustainable luxury mobility’, as part of the Beyond100 strategy. They used the announcement as an opportunity to reveal that the Carbon Trust had certified their Crew headquarters as the first carbon-neutral luxury car factory in the UK.
The decade-long journey towards an EV-only range starts with the first pure electric model in 2025, and Beyond100 is intended to futureproof Bentley for the century yet to come. Bentley admitted that COVID-19 had an impact, but said they had a comprehensive cost and investment structure which they believed would ensure the business was recession-proof and could continue to be financially resilient.
Bentley Motors EXP 100 GT is an environmental showcase for the sustainable future of luxury automotives.
Car demand shifts across Europe
The big news from Bentley comes not long after it was revealed that car sales increased in September, especially models that were more sustainable. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association claimed that petrol and diesel-powered cars were losing their market share, as government incentives boosted sales of hybrid and electric models.
As of September 2020, both France and Germany reported a 400 per cent boom in the sales of plug-in hybrid models over the previous 12 months. Electric-chargeable vehicles saw registrations triple over the same period.
No doubt, Bentley is watching the shift towards demand for more eco-friendly vehicles and has decided to take the plunge. Investing in a future without petrol and diesel would have been unimaginable 30 years ago, but now the likes of Bentley are redefining the landscape of car manufacturing, at least at the high end.
Their competitors will be watching how this move plays out over the coming years, and what started off as a trickle could become a flood, if the production of hybrid and EV models continue to outpace their hydrocarbon-based predecessors.