Bentley has confirmed that their first electric car is to arrive in 2025 and will be built at the firm’s Crewe plant in the United Kingdom.
This news cements the future of the iconic factory at which 4 000 skilled workers meticulously build the brand’s motorcars by hand, with £2,5 billion (R51,4 billion) set aside for R&D at Crewe with a sharp focus on sustainability.
In an interview with Autocar in 2020, Bentley’s CEO Adrian Hallmark mentioned that Crewe had to earn the right to build Bentley EV’s ahead of it Volkswagen Group peers.
“We started building in Crewe in 1936 and we’ve invested hundreds of millions in infrastructure and certification for electrification, so we have the capability to do it,” he said.
“But the important thing to note is that we still have to be competitive, and fight to ensure the maximum possible content for our cars is made in Crewe. We are part of a group so we must prove we are the best option, but from a brand point of view, it is our mission to ensure everything can be built here.”
The unpainted bodies, however, of Bentley’s upcoming EV will be built at VW Group’s Hanover plant in Germany before being shipped to Crewe. Audi has led the development of the luxury EV platform which is shared with its sibling Bentley EV, the latter of which will be assembled at the Hanover plant.
This announcement forms part of Bentley’s Beyond100 strategy, the culmination of which will see the 103 year old brand go both carbon neutral and electric-only by 2030. In addition to the Crewe plant, Bentley will be building a new greenfield facility, for which not all of the land has been purchased, but this will form part of a so-called ‘Bentley Dream Factory’ which will include the existing site, as well as the forthcoming expansion. The purpose of this is to incorporate next-gen digital manufacturing concepts, as well as push towards having a lower environmental impact.
“Our aim is to become the benchmark not just for luxury cars or sustainable credentials but the entire scope of our operations. Securing production of our first BEV in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe,” concluded Hallmark.