Bentley ringfences £2.5bn to develop EVs in UK
Luxury carmaker Bentley has this week unveiled a new £2.5bn commitment to launch its first-ever Battery-Powered Electric Vehicle (BEV), with its flagship facility in Crewe confirmed as the location to manufacture its EV portfolio.
Bentley has confirmed that its Crewe campus, which is certified as carbon neutral, will develop the carmaker’s first BEV. Bentley will invest £2.5bn in sustainability over the next 10 years to help realise this ambition.
The carmaker will aim to improve sustainability at the Crewe plant, where 4,000 staff members work, by extending onsite energy production from 30,000 solar panels to 40,000 in the next two years.
Investments will also be made to equip the facility with the manufacturing capabilities for EVs, with Bentley’s first BEV scheduled to roll off the production line in 2025. The carmaker will also explore the use of biofuel in its product portfolio.
Bentley’s chief executive Adrian Hallmark 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% BEV 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 BEV in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe.”
In 2020, the luxury carmaker committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030 and revealed that it will stop selling petrol cars in 2026 through the Beyond 100 plan.
This commitment is “end-to-end”, covering its upstream emissions and those generated by the drivers of its vehicles. The business has reduced its upstream and operational emissions by 30% since 2010 and is targeting a further 25% reduction within five years. It will apply learnings from its carbon-neutral headquarters and factory to achieve this aim. The facility is powered by 100% renewable electricity, largely from onsite solar arrays.
Bentley has this week updated its plan with a new “Five-in-Five” initiative. It commits Bentley to launching a new electric model each year, from 2025.