The automaker's aptly named "five-in-five" plan will make its range of ultra-luxury vehicles more eco-friendly.
Craig ColeFormer reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Bentley announced the next part of its Beyond100 strategy, a roadmap that, in relatively short order, is designed to transform this ultra-luxury British automaker. On Wednesday, the company introduced its aptly named "five-in-five" plan, which includes the introduction of one new all-electric vehicle each year between 2025 and 2030.
This EV blitz is a cornerstone of Bentley's ongoing push to become one of the greenest vehicle manufacturers around. Beyond100 calls for the company to become end-to-end carbon neutral by 2030, a target Adrian Hallmark, Bentley's chairman and CEO, described in an online briefing as "one of the most progressive in our industry." He also noted, "It's about redefining Bentley as a benchmark," not only for its products but for environmental responsibility.
Details about Bentley's five future EVs are almost nonexistent, but the company promises they'll be interesting. "Every car will be an exciting car," with new user experience concepts, expressive design and "effortless luxury," said Dr. Matthias Rabe, Bentley board member for research and development, during the same online presentation as Hallmark."We are redefining the sustainable luxury," he added.
Regarding Bentley's first battery-powered model, which is slated to arrive in late 2025, Hallmark said "we aim to make [it] a gamechanger," though he wouldn't say how many doors it will have or comment on the vehicle's dimensions, so feel free to speculate about what it could be.
To help realize its ambitious goals, Bentley is investing some $3.4 billion (£2.5 billion) over the next decade. Those funds will be used to develop all those juicy, new
and upgrade its manufacturing plant in Crewe, England, the place where all Bentleys are built and the company is headquartered.
That multi-billion-dollar outlay will help transform Crewe into a "dream factory" as Bentley calls it. This next-generation facility will be digital, flexible and have no environmental impact. Water use will be reduced, as will any waste going to landfills. Suppliers and other related companies will also be required to meet minimum sustainability standards, further reducing environmental impact.
Crewe already achieved carbon-neutral vehicle production back in 2019, though that's not stopping the automaker from increasing the number of solar panels at the factory from 30,000 today to 40,000 in the next two years. Beyond all that, retailers around the world will also have to be carbon neutral by 2025 and Bentley is researching sustainable biofuels to use in its fleet vehicles and Heritage Collection. These small steps are all part of the automaker's push to neutralize its carbon footprint.
Hallmark described the Beyond100 plan as a major milestone in the storied luxury brand's 102-year history. "It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity," he noted.
Huge changes are certainly afoot, but Bentley's current vehicle lineup is already looking a lot greener than you might expect for such a prestigious brand. Ahead of its nascent EV onslaught, the automaker estimates hybrid models will account for more than 20% of its sales this year. The Bentayga PHEV SUV and the Flying Spur PHEV sedan, along with its upcoming five derivatives, are leading the charge.
2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid is an ultra-luxe plug-in