Bentley Motors has outlined plans to become a global leader in sustainable luxury mobility with further details of its Beyond100 strategy.
The Volkswagen Group owned automaker said it would reinvent every aspect of its business to become an end to end carbon neutral organisation. This includes switching its model range to offer only plug in hybrid or battery electric vehicles by 2026 and only full electric vehicles by 2030.
It will thus evolve from the claimed largest producer of 12 cylinder petrol engines to having no internal combustion engines within a decade.
Bentley has transformed its 80 year old headquarters in Crewe (Rolls-Royce’s UK HQ until BMW bought the brand in 2001) into what it claims is the UK’s only single, carbon neutral, luxury car factory.
Bentley’s aim to become an end to end carbon neutral luxury car brand by 2030 will be underpinned by a structured, businesswide sustainability programme. This includes the development of electrified models throughout the range, and further improvements on its operational environmental impact, that of its tier one supply chain and collaborating with its retailer network.
The approach to redefining its business model will be built around its accelerated journey towards electrification. Having already committed that every model line will be offered with the option of a hybrid variant by 2023, with the first pure electric model to be launched in 2025, Bentley has now announced a move towards zero emission mobility.
Following the introduction of the first fully electric model in 2025 – its ‘first cradle to grave’ fully carbon neutral car –the brand exclusively will offer plug-in hybrid and electric models only within its range in 2026. By 2030, this will change to battery electric vehicles only.
The electrified future was previewed with the reveal of the all-electric EXP 100 GT concept car which also featured sustainable materials including 5,000 year old copper infused river wood, traditionally produced wool carpets and a leather like textile upholstery made from a by product of wine making.
Last year, Crewe became the first luxury automotive factory in the UK to be certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust. This followed two decades of implementing innovative solutions, including a water recycling system in the paint shop, local tree planting, installation of a 10,000 solar panel carport, taking the total number of on site solar panels to 30,000, and a switch to renewable only electricity sources.
By the end of this year, all Crewe suppliers will have passed a sustainability audit. By the end of 2025, the company intends to reduce its factory environmental impact by focusing on energy consumption, CO2 emissions, waste water, use of solvents in the paint process and becoming plastic neutral. This will result in a climate positive factory by 2030.
Bentley recently announced a workforce reduction of 1,000 permanent workers following the COVID-19 pandemic but this was reduced to 800 posts, including around 200 temporary workers.
Bentley said the success of this “voluntary release programme” had resulted in a much smaller number of those remaining at risk of compulsory redundancy, less than 10, although it “continues to investigate opportunities to avoid this outcome if possible”.
“The results from this comprehensive cost and investment structure has placed the business in a position to achieve a positive financial performance for the full year 2020, in spite of the extenuating external circumstances. This platform will create a sustainable, consistently profitable business model for the next 100 years,” the automaker said.