Bentley has announced plans to remain a sustainable luxury brand by transitioning to fully electric cars by 2030. Outlined in what the British automaker calls its “Beyond100 strategy,” Bentley says it is committed to reducing its environmental footprint; it aims to become a carbon-neutral company, also by 2030. The transition to becoming an all-electric-car producer will begin in 2021 with the launch of two plug-in hybrids, followed in 2025 by an EV built on a newly developed platform.
The Beyond100 strategy aims to take all of Bentley’s operations and products toward sustainability, and it will eliminate internal-combustion engines altogether by 2030. In a call with reporters, Bentley said it views the monumental shift as an opportunity for the marque to transform itself into the benchmark luxury brand in the electric-car industry. In support of the Paris Climate Agreement, Bentley is also committed to going beyond the two-degree target. Last year, the Carbon Trust certified Bentley’s production facility in Crewe, U.K., to carbon neutral, making it the first luxury-automotive factory in the U.K. to receive such certification.
During the pandemic lockdown, Bentley has engaged with the British government about its plans to put hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, and Bentley said its plan is sound. There is demand for electric cars, and Bentley says 55 percent of its customer base would consider buying an electric Bentley in the next five years. Most major markets, including Southeast Asia, are progressive in the gradual elimination of combustion vehicles. Bentley said the necessary infrastructure to eliminate internal-combustion-engine vehicles is feasible, but it will not be an overnight transition.
Indeed, revealed during Bentley’s recent centenary celebration, the all-electric EXP 100 GT Concept served as a preview of where Bentley production is heading. The design language for electric vehicles will likely evolve in pursuit of more modern design in a fast-growing digital world; nonetheless, the performance, craftsmanship, and luxury Bentley is known for will have to remain the cornerstone of its products. Bentley is also investing in a vehicle-test center, two research and development buildings, and a quality-launch center that will focus on the digitalization of its cars.
Beyond100 will likewise launch a new era for Mulliner, Bentley’s bespoke division which has a three-portfolio structure consisting of Mulliner Coachbuilt, Mulliner Collections, and Mulliner Classic. If you recall, Bentley earlier this year debuted the stunning and handcrafted 2021 Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, the first model of the Mulliner Coachbuilt family that integrates elements of the EXP 100 GT. Also, part of the Beyond100 strategy is to increase the diversity of the talent Bentley recruits to work for it, specifically targeting women. Bentley said it is working to create career paths that support women’s lifestyles, and a work environment in which they can thrive.
While Bentley’s shift to electric cars represents yet another profound change in the automotive industry, Bentley insisted that an all-electric vehicle can be a true Bentley, and it emphasized the point that sustainability is critical from the perspective of environmental consciousness.