Bentley has announced that it will become a fully-electric brand by 2030, as outlined in its Beyond 100 roadmap. The aggressive plan will give the world’s largest 12-cylinder petrol engine manufacturer less than a decade to completely move away internal combustion engines (ICE), committing itself to become “an end-to-end carbon neutral organisation”.
The company has long hinted at its desire to move towards electrification. In 2017, Bentley showed off the EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept as the brand’s first-ever electric vehicle. More recently, the company also unveiled the EXP 100 GT concept last year as its centenary celebration. As the ‘Beyond 100’ name suggests, the roadmap points at the company’s future after its first 100 years, and the EXP 100 GT cannot be a more suitable representation of the plan.
Bentley will be offering a PHEV option for each of its models on sale by 2023, with the first example of the plan being the Bentayga Hybrid announced in September last year. Two more PHEVs will be launched next year; Automotive News Europe reports that they are expected to be the Flying Spur and Continental GT.
The company’s first fully-electric model will debut in 2025, and a year after that, pure ICE Bentley models will no longer be on sale. By 2030 as mentioned previously, all models will be battery EVs only.
Beyond powertrains, the company has also committed to the use of more sustainable materials within the cars, such as using the by-product from wine making to create a leather-replacement textile in the EXP 100 GT. Last year, the company’s production facility in Crewe was also certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, thanks to the implementation of innovative carbon-reducing solutions over two decades.
The company aims to shift its factory into “climate positive” by 2030, actively reducing levels of carbon in the atmosphere, while at the same time investing in renewable energy and forestation projects.
The Beyond 100 roadmap also includes plans to ensure financial stability in the long term, where the company aims to be “financially resilient and recession-proof”. Due to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bentley said that it had to undertake the biggest change programme in its history.
This includes the voluntary release and redundancy programme announced in June, with the aim of a workforce reduction of 1,000 personnel. This figure was later reduced to 800, including around 200 contractor positions.
Despite the challenges faced during the health pandemic, Bentley says that these plans have placed them in a position to forecast a positive financial performance in 2020.