Bentley is investing £2.5 billion in building electric cars at its historic Crewe plant including its first full electric vehicle which is set to arrive within the next three years.
The plan in 2020 was for a range of cars with at least one hybrid for each model by 2023, a range of hybrids or EVs only 2026 and EVs only by 2030. That came off the back of the Bentley factory becoming carbon neutral in 2019, having installed 30,000 solar panels and a water recycling system in the paint shop, as well as switching to renewable energy sources and planting a number of trees locally. All suppliers had to meet sustainability audit targets, too. The new investment aims to see the wider Bentley business carbon neutral by 2030, and to do so the number of solar panels on-site in Crewe will increase to 40,000, as well as less water consumption and less waste sent to land fill, global retailers carbon neutral by 2025, and all suppliers will have to meet higher sustainability standards. What’s more, fleet vehicles, including Bentley’s heritage collection, may well make the move to biofuels.
As for cars the goals set out in 2020 remain the same, but in order to get to a full EV range by 2030 a new strategy, known as the ‘Five-in-Five’ plan, will see a new EV introduced every year from 2025 to 2030.
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley’s CEO, said: “Simultaneously accelerating our Beyond100 strategy and securing BEV production at Crewe, alongside a £2.5 billion investment, makes this a major landmark in Bentley’s 102-year history. It is a shining light for the Bentley family, our suppliers and partners, as well as the automotive industry and UK manufacturing as a whole.
“This latest announcement regarding Bentley’s Beyond100 plan confirms the initiation of a major transformative phase in the company’s long and illustrious history. The world is changing and we need to play our part in neutralising our environmental impact. That means delivering on our aim to be end-to-end carbon neutral by 2030, and reaffirming our role as the leader in sustainable luxury mobility.”