CEO Adrian Hallmark expects Crewe’s first electric car to be at the forefront of battery capacity.
Bentley’s first EV, which is due to go on sale in 2025, will likely be the priciest model in the company’s line-up, as was revealed by CEO Adrian Hallmark in a business webinar hosted by our sister publication, Autocar UK. Bentley will begin testing its first EV later this year, having already signed off the underlying technology of the car.
- Bentley’s first EV will likely be company’s halo product
- Design will be influenced by aerodynamics for maximum efficiency and range
- Company looking at induction charging or automated systems to charge the new EV
2025 Bentley EV: price positioning
While Hallmark refused to be drawn on whether the car will be a high-riding saloon or an SUV, both of which have been rumoured, he did confirm that it will occupy a new price point for the firm while drawing reference to the old Mulsanne limousine.
Confirming that the EV will be set apart from the current line-up on price, he said: “Today, all of our products are in a very tight price band. So, I can say that we would like to either go up or down in order to exploit the brand further in terms of its potential.”
Given the car is set to feature cutting-edge technology as well as have a significant battery range, it’s highly unlikely that it will be priced below the Bentayga SUV. On the other hand, a price closer to the now-discontinued Mulsanne is expected, hinting at its likely halo positioning in Bentley’s line-up as it prepares to launch five EVs by 2030.
2025 Bentley EV: testing to begin later this year
Hallmark described the EV’s underlying technology as signed off, and said the interior design was 95 percent complete and exterior design 80-85 percent ready “with some work to do to further improve what we’ve already decided.”
He confirmed that testing will begin later this year, as well as saying that styling models of all five Bentley EVs exist, suggesting they require only refinement as they edge towards production by the end of the decade.
2025 Bentley EV: design guided by aerodynamics
Talking about the styling of the 2025 car, Hallmark stressed that the EV will have its own unique look and packaging, rather than evolve from current designs.
He said: “It’s an incremental product, so it will exist alongside our current cars. We’re trying to shape a segment and game-changer, not just an electric version of what we already have. It will be more progressive than some of our current designs. Not radical, but with hints that signal we’re entering a new era with this vehicle.”
Groundbreaking aerodynamics are likely to be a key feature of that, Hallmark revealed, adding: “Let’s be clear: the design will look like a Bentley, feel like a Bentley and go like a Bentley. But yes, the overall aero efficiency will be a step change from our current cars. It will be among the very best for efficiency, no question. It has to be, because there are inherent weight and, therefore efficiency, issues with battery packs that we will overcome.”
He confirmed that while there are no plans to reduce wheelbases on EVs, the firm’s designers are working to slightly reduce the width of its cars to improve efficiency.
2025 Bentley EV: to have top-notch luxury quotient
Hallmark, however, did stress that many familiar Bentley qualities, particularly in terms of interior design and the overall luxury-focused driving experience will still apply.
“In terms of the effort, we go to in order to choose the materials, the way we design them and the way they go together for an overall aesthetic, as well as the comfort and the features that we apply in our vehicles, we do believe we stand apart,” he said. “We will take another leap forward when it comes to electric vehicles.”
2025 Bentley EV: alternative charging solutions
Hallmark also suggested that Bentley is looking at alternative methods for charging its cars, including induction charging or automated systems that hook up to the car without the need to be manually plugged in.
“The first thing to acknowledge is that most of our owners will live in houses where they can charge at home, so the restrictions of public charging are unlikely to apply,” he said. “We’re working with partners to look at higher-powered charging solutions and hands-free solutions, whether that’s inductive or robotic. They can be done without huge cost and can remove some of the hassle.”
He further added: “Five years ago, the efficiency of inductive charging was so low that most people gave up on the idea. Now, we know that so long as you can be very precise, you can get to 90-95 percent of the efficiency of a plug, so that’s interesting, especially if it’s linked to autonomous parking to guide it into position.”
Bentley in India
In India, Bentley continues to offer models such as Bentayga, Flying Spur and the Continental GT, including a plug-in hybrid version of the Flying Spur luxury saloon. There are, however, no new launches lined up in the near future.