Luxury UK Brand Not Rushed For EV Option

Wed 1st Jan 2020

Whilst many of Europe’s biggest car brands have at least one EV project in the pipeline, the CEO of UK based Bentley has admitted that a full electric version of their luxury car is still some way off.

Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Adrian Hallmark of the Crewe-based Bentley brand said that that the earliest date on the calendar for battery-powered luxury marque would not be until 2025.

While Hallmark is understandably reticent to discuss Bentley’s future plans he did admit that after a difficult past year the company needs a solid base before it can look to an anticipated EV project.

“It's been about getting the company straight, getting it profitable and having a clear view of when the right time would be to bring the first full-electric cars to market,” Hallmark said.

“We have said 2025 is the earliest we can get a credible battery-electric Bentley [on the road]. Therefore, the next phase of our investment would be linked to that electrification. We are still working on whether we produce the cars on the same line or have supplementary build areas that bring in subcomponents in a different way.”

Bentley’s perceived cautious approach to EV powered vehicles may owe more to their expected reliance on solid-state batteries rather than the limited lithium-ion options which are currently being used across the industry. Solid state batteries offer much more energy density and are expected to be utilised more readily - once a major breakthrough is made in the tech.

Halmark used the interview to hint that may be the route Bentley take: “I'm not saying that we are guaranteed to go solid state, but that is already on the radar within that mid-2020s period. They are about 30 percent lighter for the same power as lithium-ion. An I-pace has 720kg of batteries so going to 500kg instead of 720kg makes a difference. Also, think about how that changes the packaging.”