Luxury carmaker Bentley has revealed plans to go green in the next 10 years, switching its fossil fuel model range to a full electric vehicle (EV) line.
The company, owned by Volkswagen (VOW.DE), has committed to being an “end-to-end carbon neutral organisation,” aiming to offer only plug-in hybrid or battery electric cars by 2026.
Part of its new “Beyond100 plan,” it aims to be completely carbon neutral across its manufacturing by 2030 as its German owners continue to pump billions of euros into EV technology.
The move will mean Bentelly will retire its famous 12-cylinder petrol engines, with workers on internal combustion technology to be redeployed within the company.
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley's chief executive, said: “Since 1919, Bentley has defined luxury grand touring. Being at the forefront of progress is part of our DNA – the original Bentley boys were pioneers and leaders. Now, as we look Beyond100, we will continue to lead by reinventing the company and becoming the world’s benchmark luxury car business.”
“Driving this change includes, and also goes beyond our products, delivering a paradigm shift throughout our business, with credibility, authenticity, and integrity,” he said.
“Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury.”
The manufacturer added that it will launch two new plug-in hybrids in 2021, joining the existing Bentayga Hybrid, and work on improving its production facility in Crewe.
Bentley said its environmental targets would make it "financially resilient and recession proof" as it seeks to shore up its finances due to the coronavirus downturn, which has sent shockwaves through the industry.
In June, Bentley announced plans to slash 1,000 jobs in a cost-cutting drive to combat the financial hit from the pandemic.
It said it had informed its 4,200 workers of its “voluntary release programme” and could not rule out future compulsory redundancies.
In a statement at the time it revealed it had already been working on a “major change programme” before the health crisis hit to boost productivity and make it financially resilient. But that its strategy had been “derailed” by COVID-19, leading to a considerable dent in forecast future revenues.
Bentley, however, scaled back the cuts to 800 staff, who were taking voluntary redundancy.
It comes as European carmakers face heavy penalties for failing to reduce the average emissions of their cars. By 2030 carbon emissions are required to be 37.5% lower than 2021 levels.
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