Bentley has announced that its first electric car will be manufactured at its existing Crewe factory rather than being switched to a factory abroad.
The new battery-powered vehicle is expected to be produced in three years time, forming a key part of the firm’s Beyond100 strategy which will see Bentley move exclusively to electric power and become end-to-end carbon neutral by 2030.
Bentley - which is owned by Volkswagen Group - has also committed £2.5 billion towards “sustainability” over the next 10 years. This will include a full transformation of its Crewe facility in order to create electric cars on a mass scale.
It has also revealed its ‘Dream Factory’ concept, which will transform how Bentley operates and develop ‘unique customer and employee experiences’.
Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “Beyond100 is the boldest plan in Bentley’s illustrious history, and in the luxury segment. It’s an ambitious and credible roadmap to carbon neutrality of our total business system, including the shift to 100 per cent electric in just eight years.
“Our aim is to become the benchmark not just for luxury cars or sustainable credentials but the entire scope of our operations. Securing production of our first electric car in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe.”
Currently, all Bentley models are built at the Crewe facility with 4,000 members of staff working across the site. The firm has yet to announce any further details regarding the upcoming electric car, with more information likely to come out over the coming months. Electrifing.com understands that Bentley is likely to use the Volkswagen Group's Artemis electric car platform that is currently being developed by Volkswagen. This will sit above the current MEB platform and is designed primarily for luxury and premium models.
A higher volume model with a lower price tag could also be in the works. In an exclusive interview with Electrifying.com last year, Adrian Hallmark, told us that electric power meant they could look at a ‘slightly smaller Bentley’. “We are looking at size on the outside and inside, electric vehicles do offer more space on the inside and that means the potential of a slightly smaller exterior. We are not talking of shrinking the size of a Bentley to a Fiat 500! But we can make it a more useable car when driving and parking in the city. But we will always continue to give the full Bentley experience with inspirational interiors.”