Bentley Motors, the ultra-luxury automaker of the VW Group, will only start producing plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles from 2026 onwards, in order to drop all internal combustion engines in the next decade.
The company announced on Thursday that its entire range will be fully electric by 2030. This plan, known as Beyond 100, is already underway and the UK manufacturer confirms that two plug-in hybrids will be launched next year. The company's first fully electric vehicle will hit the market in 2025.
The aim is to make a company known for its grand touring machines with 12-cylinder internal combustion engines a market leader for “sustainable luxury mobility”. Bentley found that the 80-year-old headquarters had already been refurbished and was the first plant in the UK to be certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.
According to Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, the Beyond 100 plan will touch every aspect of the company from the development of its electrified models and operations to its Tier 1 network for delivery bills and retailers.
Bentley's relocation is part of the parent company's broader strategy to become a leading manufacturer and seller of electric, connected cars. Volkswagen has set itself the goal of selling around one million electric cars per year by 2025.
Bentley's plan extends its previous commitments to offer a hybrid variant of each model line by 2023 and improve operations. According to Bentley, all suppliers passed a sustainability audit and reviewed their sustainability records at the end of the year.
Bentley isn't just switching to electric cars. The company also aims to prove itself "recession-proof", an ambitious goal that has started with restructuring and downsizing of around 800 jobs, of which around 200 have been filled by contractors. Bentley got a crack last year but, like so many other automakers, has been hit by government shutdowns sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bentley said Thursday that its cost-cutting and restructuring measures have enabled the company "to deliver positive financial performance for full year 2020 despite the extenuating external circumstances".