Bentley postpones debut EV and extends electrification timeline.

Bentley Goes All-Electric by 2033

Bentley’s highly anticipated debut of their first electric model in 2025 has hit a roadblock. CEO Adrian Hallmark revealed to Automotive News Europe that the release of the EV has been postponed by a year due to technical difficulties caused by software complications and concerns related to the platform. As a result, the luxury car brand’s inaugural electric vehicle is now slated to be unveiled towards the end of 2026, with customer deliveries not commencing until 2027.

In exclusive report, Autocar has discovered that Bentley is postponing their aim to go fully electric by the conclusion of the 2020s. As per their updated plan, the high-end British automaker aims to eliminate all gas-powered vehicles from their lineup by 2033. This three-year extension will give the brand more time to focus on investing in plug-in hybrid models, ensuring a seamless shift towards an exclusively electric fleet at the beginning of the new decade.

The first electric vehicle to be produced domestically in the United Kingdom will be built on the Premium Platform Electric, a collaborative effort between Porsche and Audi. This innovative platform has already been showcased through the second-generation Macan which debuted in January, as well as the Q6 E-Tron which was unveiled earlier this week. Despite all three brands falling under the Volkswagen Group, Audi holds ownership of Bentley (along with Lamborghini and Ducati) since 2022.

The delay of the EV comes as no surprise. The initial plans also outlined earlier release dates for the Macan and Q6 E-Tron. As the first zero-emission vehicle is yet to be launched, Bentley is gearing up to introduce a powerful plug-in hybrid system featuring a V-8 engine. This setup will act as a replacement for the beloved W-12, which is sadly being phased out along with the highly anticipated 740-horsepower Batur.

According to the company’s top executive, Bentley had initially predicted a decline in demand for hybrids as the decade came to a close. However, current projections indicate that demand will actually increase. As a result, the luxury automaker is investing “hundreds of millions” into developing a new line of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that will continue to be available for purchase in the early years of the next decade in order to meet this growing demand.

The punchy V8 PHEV configuration will make its debut in the GT, GTC, and Flying Spur models in 2024. The current V-6 PHEV will remain, while the Bentayga is expected to keep its traditional gasoline engine until 2026, when it will transition to an all-electric powertrain.

The upcoming electric vehicle, which has been postponed, will not serve as a substitute for any current model as it will be an entirely distinct product. Upon its release, it will feature a more powerful Speed variant, described as “the W12 of batteries,” with electric motors engineered to provide 50 to 100 percent more power than traditional internal combustion engines. At present, the most dominant model on the PPE platform is the Porsche Macan Turbo, boasting 630 horsepower and 833 pound-feet of torque.

According to a previous statement from Hallmark, the batteries powering Bentley’s debut electric vehicle will provide a range of 350 to 450 miles on a single charge. The battery can also be replenished from 10 to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.

Currently, the Bentayga holds the top spot in sales, accounting for a significant 44 percent of the total volume in 2023. Following closely behind is the Continental GT/GTC with an impressive 31 percent, while the Flying Spur takes third place with a respectable 25-percent share. Unfortunately, there was a decline in overall deliveries in 2023, with a decrease of 11 percent resulting in a total of 13,560 units sold.

Sources: Automotive News Europe, Autocar

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