Bentley is considering an all-electric model in a bid to reduce the carbon emission footprint of its other models, Automotive News reported this week, noting that the luxury brand was one of the most polluting brands in the large Volkswagen family.
According to the report, the project has yet to be approved, but if it is, Automotive News’ Christiaan Hetzner writes, it would probably use the EV architecture that is at the moment being developed for Porsche and Audi: the Premium Platform Electric.
The architecture focuses on higher speeds, shorter acceleration times, and, a top priority for EVs, shorter charging times. It will serve as the basis for a whole series of performance cars by Volkswagen beginning in 2021. The electric Bentley should hit markets before 2025 if it receives the approval of the group.
Bentley’s chief executive, Adrian Hallmark, confirmed in an interview with Reuters, the brand’s electrification plans. “It [the company’s board] was taking stock of all the models, all the powertrains, all the future technologies that we needed to invest in and re-cut the plan to be more electrified than we were,” Hallmark said. The decision will likely be made within a year.
Bentley last year showcased a concept electric car, a version of its EXP 12 Speed 6 sports model.
The luxury brand’s parent company, Volkswagen, has already staked an ambitious claim to the EV market. Earlier this month, VW CEO Herbert Diess told German TV ZDF Volkswagen will release an EV comparable in performance to Teslas, but at half the price, sparking, among other things, ridicule and accusations of lying.
Earlier estimates of the cheapest EV in the VW family, the ID Neo, had a price tag of more than US$29,000, which is certainly not half of Tesla Model 3’s US$35,000 price tag. The ID Neo is slated to hit markets in 2020.
By Irina Slav for Safehaven.com
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