Bentley has confirmed that, following a sizeable £2.5 billion investment into its primary facility in Crewe, the luxury marque’s first fully electric vehicle will arrive in 2025, with four more expected to be launched each year thereafter.
The ‘Five-in-Five’ plan is the latest step in Bentley’s ‘Beyond100’ electrification sustainability strategy, announced in 2020, in which the luxury British marque aimed to be carbon neutral and boast an all-electric product line-up by 2030. Bentley’s first fully-electric vehicle “will be designed, developed and produced” at Crewe and will roll off the production line in 2025. One new electric vehicle would then be released each year up to and including 2030.
Speculation as to the identity of the EV has been rampant since Bentley’s hybridization of its fleet began with the Bentayga Hybrid launch in 2018, one year after the electric EXP 12 Speed 6e concept was unveiled. Indeed, as one of Bentley’s best-selling models in 2021, it is speculated that the 2025 EV will be an all-electric version of the luxury carmaker’s first SUV.
With sister brand Lamborghini’s brand-new 2+2-seater EV crossover and an all-electric version of the Urus SUV, with which a Bentayga EV would presumably much of its underpinnings, unlikely to arrive before 2028 however, it’s also been suggested that the 2025 debutant could be an all-electric Continental, another of Bentley’s best sellers. Unlike the Bentayga and the Flying Spur limousine, the Continental has yet to receive a hybridized counterpart, with online speculation suggesting that the grand tourer might instead become the platform for Bentley’s all-electric drivetrain and platform development.
“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,” chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark explained in an official statement. “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.”
Alongside the EV announcement, Bentley has also confirmed £2.5 billion of ‘sustainability’ investment – around $4.25 billion – into “the fundamental reinvention of the Crewe manufacturing infrastructure.” Noted changes at the reformatted ‘Dream Factory’, which aims to have zero environmental impact, include the reduction of both water consumption and waste to landfill, as well as an additional 10,000 solar panels being installed alongside the 30,000 already in place. Interestingly, Bentley is also investigating the use of biofuel across its Heritage Collection.
“Today is arguably the most important day in Bentley’s modern history, and is a testament to the hard work and skill of our colleagues in Crewe,” board member Peter Bosch continues. “With our new ‘Dream Factory’ concept, we now go to zero also with water, waste and other environmental impacts until 2030. Unique craftsmanship, customer interaction and employee experience will be enhanced by digital tech, higher flexibility and new ways of personalisation. We will develop the best of Crewe into the future benchmark of luxury car manufacturing.”
Ahead of the EV’s arrival in 2025, customer deliveries of the plug-in hybrid Flying Spur PHEV are expected to start later this year, Bentley’s anticipating that 20 per cent of its sales moving forward will come from hybrid cars.