Bentley to offer only electric or hybrid cars by 2026
Yet another manufacturer added to the all-important EV guest list, but what should we be expecting from the luxury marque?
Electrification is becoming more commonplace within car manufacturers as we near the deadline for the UK government's ban on the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 - and Bentley is no exception.
The high-end automaker has this week announced that it is concentrating on researching and developing sustainable and recyclable electric motors, in a bid to assist the legislatorial requirement for automakers to cease production of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 in order to avoid any hefty fines coming their way.
The research program funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK will span across three years, aiming to discover recyclable rare-earth magnets that will allow Bentley to pave the way in sustainable luxury mobility.
What should we look forward to?
As riveting as it is necessary, the changes will create opportunities for the company that's historically known for equipping their cars with rather beefy engines - expect there to be partial or full electrification of some of its existing models, like what's been seen with the Bentayga Hybrid, or an introduction of a model that satisfies the features of both a conventional saloon and those of an SUV.
2035 Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept | Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Thanks to its place within the VW group, Bentley will benefit from the synergy that it shares between its automotive siblings Audi and Porsche, meaning that there may be a cost-effective crossover of technologies and platforms to be witnessed in the near future.
As it stands, Bentley are due to release PHEV versions of the much-loved Continental GT and the status symbol that is of course, the Flying Spur. We also continue to wait in anticipation of Bentley announcing it's first fully-electric model in 2025 - hopefully the EXP 100 GT will be looked back in history as something exemplar in having changed the course of the design for Bentley's future models.
Aside from this, Bentley are committed to making the right decision for a more sustainable automotive future, with an ambition for factories to be operating in a plastic-neutral fashion in the years to come.
Is there anything that isn't likely to change?
As you would imagine, Bentley will continue to uphold its reputation of being the most sought after luxury car brand in the world, even if legislation gets in the way. In other words, it's unlikely that an 'affordable' model will be hitting the streets any time soon.
Is the combustion era fading away? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Ollie Funnell | Student Journalist, Coventry University