Bentley pledges to go all-electric by 2030 | FOS Future Lab

06th November 2020
Bob Murray

Get your V8 or W12-powered petrol Bentley quick… the British marque, famous for a hundred years for its huge and powerful road and racing cars, has nailed its colours firmly to the battery-powered mast. In its new second century plan revealed this week it confirms that it will no longer make any combustion engines after 2030.


The first all-electric Bentley is due in 2025 and by the following year the firm pledges that all models will be electrified in some way, either fully electric or with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrains of the sort already available with the Bentayga. The first of those, thought to be a plug-in V8 Flying Spur, is due in 2021. Then by 2030 Bentley will change to battery-electric cars only, with the company aiming to be entirely carbon neutral the same year. The Crewe production plant is already certified carbon neutral.

“Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury,” said Bentley chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark. He said that reinventing the company from what is currently the world’s largest 12-cylinder engine manufacturer to a new “sustainable luxury benchmark” required a “a paradigm shift throughout our business”.

Clues to the first battery Bentley lie in the dramatic EXP 100 GT concept unveiled last year. The massive (5.8m long)  electric GT with up to 1,300PS (956kW) from its four motors was intended to show how grand touring could look in 2035. While a production facsimile of this may be unlikely, its electric technology, sustainably sourced materials, craftsmanship and Bentleyesque sense of grandness are all thought to preview what is in store.


At the press conference to announce the new strategy Adrian Hallmark said the challenge was not just to create an electric car but an electric Bentley, with authentic Bentley DNA and all that conjures up in performance and luxury.

 “Since 1919, Bentley has defined luxury grand touring. Being at the forefront of progress is part of our DNA – the original Bentley Boys were pioneers and leaders. Now, as we look Beyond100, we will continue to lead by reinventing the company and becoming the world’s benchmark luxury car business.”

As part of the Volkswagen Group, Bentley has vast resources available to achieve its electric  car dreams. Group wide investment in electric car technology totals around €60 billion over the next five years and cars like the all-electric Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron models are already out. Bentley says however that the first electric Bentley will have its own new platform.


In other comments, Hallmark said he was hopeful the Government would modify its stance on plug-in hybrids – most of which are to have their plug-in grants phased out (although this does not affect PHEVs in the Bentley’s price range). Hallmark said that, contrary to what some people thought, their research showed that owners did plug their cars in and use the electric-only range – “60 per cent of the time” in his own case, he said.

The chief executive also did not rule out a return of the Mulsanne name in the future, and said they were looking forward to the day when Bentley could get into electric  motorsport, “but not sprint racing… it would have to be endurance racing. That’s what Bentley does.”

Someone somewhere within Crewe is probably plotting right now how Bentley is going to win the first all-electric Le Mans 24 Hours

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