Bentley EVs Five by 2030; high-riding saloon first

Bentley EVs Five by 2030; high-riding saloon first

Saloon first in Bentley EV blitz. High-riding four-door will arrive in 2025 as the first of five Bentley EVs due by 2030.

Starring a stunning baby saloon

Bentley will launch five electric models in five years from 2025 – and the first one is likely to be a high-riding saloon. The move, announced by the Crewe firm last week, accelerates its Beyond100 plan of 2020, under which it will become an electric-only, carbon-neutral brand by 2030.

Development and design of the first EV, due in late 2025, is well progressed, according to Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark. “We know the battery, the performance of the battery. The final design is weeks to a couple of months away. [The car] will be an incremental product to the ones we have today and won’t compete with anything we do. We intend to create not just an EV but to shape a segment, too.”

The five EVs won’t all have the same platform – “some will be higher, some will be lower”, said Hallmark – but they will all use shared Volkswagen Group architecture.

Hallmark added that battery technology has progressed rapidly, which will help achieve the firm’s goals. “Even a year ago, we didn’t have a clear commitment to a battery technology that would be sufficient for the car that we’ve now confirmed,” he said. “We can now build a car as big as what we have now. If I then look forward to the late 2020s, it’s another step-change.”

The first two to three electric models, said Hallmark, will have much in common in terms of battery technology and then the later cars will be able to take on board new developments. These improvements will then be “retro-applied’ to the first tranche of Bentley EVs. He confirmed that the first EV will have comfortably more than 300 miles of range.

Sales and marketing boss Alain Favey added that charging an EV must be a truly luxurious experience. “The speed and comfort of charging away from the house is probably the most important thing to our customers. We have time to work on that.”

Talking about demand for luxury EVs, Favey said: “We see a new generation of luxury car buyers who are concerned about global warming and are only buying brands which are authentically committed to sustainability. We know the majority of our customers today, when they project themselves to 2030, imagine they are driving an electric car.”

Meanwhile, this year, alongside existing Bentayga and Flying Spur plug-in hybrids, Bentley will launch five more hybrid derivatives of those two models, all of which will be V6-powered. A more potent V8 PHEV is expected further down the line, using a similar set-up to that already offered in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.

It has also been confirmed that Bentley’s first EV will be built at its Crewe plant, as it commits £2.5 billion to the site and research and development over the next decade with a particular focus on sustainability.

However, unpainted bodies of the upcoming EV will be built at the Volkswagen Group’s plant in Hanover, Germany, alongside Audi’s electric A8 successor before being shipped to Crewe. The EV’s design, development and assembly will take place at Crewe. Bentley will expand its Crewe base with an adjacent greenfield site. Collectively, the so-called ‘Dream Factory’ is intended to become a digital, zero-environmental-impact, flexible and high-value manufacturing facility.

It won’t compete with anything we do. We intend to create not just an EV but to shape a segment, too

The Bentayga plug-in hybrid accounted for a fifth of the SUV’s sales last year. In 2022, with the addition of the Flying Spur PHEV, hybrids are predicted to make up 20% of overall Bentley sales.

More than 40% of Bentleys bought last year cost in excess of £210,000, owing to the high levels of customisation available.

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