Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
Bentley Motors plans to exclusively offer plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2026 and fully electric models by 2030, the British luxury carmaker said Thursday.
Bentley, which is owned by German automaker Volkswagen, will offer two unnamed plug-in hybrid models starting next year. The first full-electric vehicle is expected in 2025, the company said. Bentley’s only plug-in hybrid is currently the Bentayga SUV.
“The future of Bentley will be fully electric,” Bentley’s chief engineer, Matthias Rabe, said during an event outlining the future direction of the 100-year-old company.
The decision is a major move for the automaker, which is best known for its uber-luxurious vehicles with eight- and 12-cylinder engines. It follows several other automakers saying they plan to move away from vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines in exchange for electric powertrains.
“Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said in a statement. He said the company aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2030.
Bentley Bentayga SUV
Hallmark during the event said Bentley is “in a position” where it could be at breakeven following significant disruptions in the company’s operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not guaranteed but that’s clearly our mission,” Hallmark said, adding the company should achieve 10,000 sales this year – slightly lower if not in line with its 11,006 vehicles sold in 2019.
In the summer, Bentley announced it would cut up to 1,000 jobs, or nearly a quarter of its workforce through a “voluntary release” program as its business plans have been “clearly derailed by the impact of the pandemic.”