Bentley to Go Green by 2030
After a century or more of producing some of the world’s most fuel-consuming but luxurious and splendid vehicles, Bentley has recently announced that they plan to make seismic shifts in their business model to transform it into an ‘end-to-end carbon-neutral enterprise.’ The announcement comes in the wake of government confirmation that all sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars will end by 2035. It seems Bentley are planning to get ahead of the game!
A Multi-Stage Plan for a Sustainable Future
While the plan will happen quite quickly in business terms, it won’t happen overnight. The shift to exclusively selling battery-powered models will come in several stages. The first will be ensuring that by 2023, every Bentley model has a hybrid option with the petrol option. In 2025, the company plans to officially launch their first all-electric car, and then in 2026 they will remove all petrol options, leaving only PHEV and electric models.
On the 10th of July, 2019, Bentley celebrated the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. That same day, they unveiled a brand-new electric concept car – the Bentley EXP 100 GT. The radical, sleek design represents some departure from their traditional style, but then again that’s the point they’re trying to make. This, in Bentley’s view, is the future of grand touring.
2021 – New Hybrid Models
As part of the plan to get a hybrid variant alongside every traditional model by 2023, Bentley is planning on releasing at least one new PHEV versions in 2021 --- the all-new Bentayga 4x4 hybrid. The new Bentayga hybrid will ditch its old panel and replace it with the new designs that are currently used on the Continental GT and Flying Spur. It’ll come with LED matrix headlights, an enlarged front grille and redesigned rear lights. A fifth 22” alloy wheel option will also be added to give buyers yet more choice. The 22” wheels will be exclusive to the new 2021 Bentayga.
2030 – Hybrids Be Gone!
The big deadline, therefore, is 2030. By that year, the company plans to axe hybrids from their line-up, thus eliminating the last vestiges of petrol or internal combustion in their vehicles. If all goes to plan, the Bentley selection will be exclusively electric cars, specifically battery-powered models.
Bentley’s plans stretch beyond their car selection. Their world-famous factory in Crewe is also to be made both carbon and plastic neutral by 2030. It’s an ambitious plan that will forever change the face of Bentley, but it will surely mean more exciting automotive offerings, too.
Not Only Batteries
While the next 10 years will see combustion engines being replaced with battery-powered systems, there’s an additional renewable fuel source that Bentley is keen to exploit in the longer term --- hydrogen. Lithium-ion batteries are already in play, and the technology well established across many car brands, but fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology like that of hydrogen fuel cells is somewhat behind.
Bentley isn’t the only producer interested in pursuing the potential of hydrogen-based fuel-cell technology. Japanese giant Toyota, as well as Hyundai and Audi are all heavily invested in the long-term development of hydrogen as an alternative to plug-in models.
Uniquely Suited to Make the Switch
Before stricter government measures were announced, some companies had been dragging their feet on implementing electric technology and adding EVs to their selections. In the face of huge fines should European carmakers fail to reduce their average emissions by 37.5% by 2030, there seems only one viable path --- plug-in hybrids, all-electric and fuel-cell models.
Without this change in course, producers like Bentley can’t hope to achieve the cuts in emissions they need across the board. Unlike some of the other producers, however, Bentley is at something of an advantage given the large margin it enjoys on its high-priced vehicles. This will allow the company plenty of space to make the switch into battery-based technologies even if they stay more expensive.
Experts predict that by 2024 the overall cost of batteries will have been reduced by enough to neutralise the current premium that automakers have to shoulder on switching to Lithium-ion batteries. Achieving parity with petrol and diesel systems will allow them to lower the prices of their electric cars and remain competitive. Bentley, on the other hand, should experience this problem since their margin allows them to absorb the additional battery costs even at its current rate.
Bentley – Green in Every Way
Many of us know Bentley from its traditional racing green colours that mark its long and prestigious heritage. If they follow through on their announcement and meet the environmental targets they’ve laid out, then they’re set to become a whole new type of green as well, and this one a lot more meaningful for the planet.