Despite the looming uncertainty of Brexit, Bentley may begin producing electric vehicles by as soon as 2025.
Bentley Chairman & CEO – Adrian Hallmark – thinks 2025 is a feasible target for Bentley to put its first fully-electric vehicle on the road. While an existing nameplate is likely to grace the brand's first production BEV, Hallmark has assured that it won't simply involve slapping some batteries on an existing model and rebranding it as an EV. Further, instead of focussing on a full-fledged electric product portfolio, the brand's attention right now is on seizing the market opportunity and gauging customer response.
Hallmark has also highlighted Bentley's keen interest in solid-state batteries for its upcoming electric model. For those not aware, conventional Li-ion batteries use a liquid electrolyte that's more susceptible to fire due to overheating. In comparison, solid-state batteries offer a more stable solution, and they're more compact as well and, therefore, can be up to 30 per cent lighter than conventional Li-ion batteries. Using a smaller, more compact battery pack can also allow Bentley designers to play with the car's exterior design without compromising the interior space. This hints towards an EV that could be relatively smaller than the current ICE-powered Bentley models.
Bentley started its electric vehicle campaign in 2017 with the debut of the EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept at the Geneva International Motor Show (the brand's first electric model). This was later followed by the EXP 100 GT electric concept (July 2019) that took the standards of 'responsible' Grand Touring to the next level.