The luxurious British carmaker Bentley Motors Limited will bring out its plug-in hybrid and electric car models beginning from 2026 and will be fully electric by 2030, says chief executive Adrian Hallmark.
The Crewe-based company is on a mission to move ahead of the UK government’s plan to take away petrol engines from the market. The carmakers will alter every aspect of their business to become an end-to-end carbon neutral organization, as part of its Beyond 100 strategy to be a global leader of sustainable vehicles.
The Beyond 100 strategic plan is an extension of the awareness and responsibility the Volkswagen-owned company has built over two decades by considering the environmental, social and economic impact.
“The reason we are moving towards electrification is very simple; there are two factors, one is customer demand more and more [demand] is for electric vehicles. We’ve got customers asking when we can deliver the first electric Bentley. Secondly, of course, legislation is pushing combustion engines out of the market so we don’t want to be a victim to that trend, we want to be ahead of it.”
Like other European countries, Britain aims to completely wind up the sale of petrol and diesel-fuelled cars by 2040. But, early this year Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that by 2035 he plans to impose a complete ban on the sale of combustion engine passenger cars and even hybrids.
If the ban comes into existence, the UK would be the first country to abolish internal combustion, making the offer by Bentley, the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder petrol engines to be transformed into fully electric by 2030 well ahead of that target.
As part of the company’s shift to electric models, in June, Bentley announced it would make 1,000 job cuts, through a voluntary release and redundancy program. Later, the number was revised downwards to 800, with the success of its voluntary program reducing the risk of staff losing their job.
“It’s not a question of shrinking the company, it’s growing it but differently so all the people engaged in the design, the assembly we redeploy and retrain them,” Mr. Hallmark said.
For achieving the goal of sustainability Bentley plans to include a diversity of talent by both retraining employees and by attracting a wide range of digital innovators and creative thinkers.
Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess has declared about their transition to electric cars, by stating that the company aims to double its electric vehicle sales by 2021, as it faces increasingly tougher emission regulations in Europe and elsewhere.
“If you’re not fast enough, you’re not going to survive. In the long run, climate change will be the biggest challenge mankind is facing,” Mr. Diess said.
Bentley will introduce its first fully electric model in 2025 following that the company will bring its plug-in hybrid and electric models only within its range by 2026. By 2030, it will transform completely into electric models.
In 2019, Bentley unveiled its all-electric EXP 100 GT concept car which used various sustainable materials including 5,000-year-old copper-infused Riverwood.
Last year, Bentley’s Crewe production facility became the first luxury automotive factory to be certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, it is followed by implementing sustainable solutions like a water recycling system, 10,000-solar panel carport and only using renewable-electricity sources.
The restructuring program has placed Bentley in a position to secure a positive financial performance for 2020 despite the pandemic. Last week, Volkswagen announced a return to profit for the third quarter.