- Bentley's first fully electric vehicle expected to arrive in 2025
- EV crossover SUV will be based on Volkswagen's upcoming Artemis platform
- 39 per cent of Bentley owners are considering a BEV as their next car
Bentley has revealed details about its inaugural fully-electric vehicle, which is due for a 2025 release date.
Speaking with Car, Adrian Hallmark, CEO of Bentley Motors Limited, said the upcoming EV would be based on the VW group’s new electric-focussed Artemis platform, which is being headed up by Audi.
Announced in 2020 and expected to launch in 2024, the Artemis project will spawn several models across VW’s various brands, with the EV architecture said to be designed with a focus on electric drivetrains and advanced autonomous driving software.
Unlike other Bentley’s in the past that have been based on already established platforms in VW's arsenal, however, the British automaker is actively involved in the development of the Artemis project.
“With our current cars, we had to get into the engineering largely after they (the platforms) had been done. The difference now is that with Artemis we're right in there at the beginning, helping define it. We're not leading it, but we're going to be a beneficiary of it,” Hallmark told Car.
“Looking forward to electrification, we're going to have closer synergies with Audi. But we will continue to have strong relationships with both brands (Audi and Porsche), and we see this as an opportunity, not a risk.
“No question – we are electrifying. And we need to find the best way to fast-track that, and to lead the technology charge.”
Hallmark explained the British marque was waiting until 2025 to release its first EV because that’s when the battery technology will best serve the automaker.
“2025 is the right time for us,” Hallmark said. “Weight is a concern. But we're seeing rapid evolution in battery power density, and we're dedicated to making things lighter and more aerodynamic.”
The CEO also said the design process for Bentley’s first fully electric vehicle would require a different mindset and approach compared to previous models, with an emphasis placed on composing the car around its EV underpinnings, rather than worrying about styling first and then making sure it all works as a package.
“As we move into EVs we're not going to throw away our brand DNA. But we have to reinterpret it and be a bit more progressive,” he said.
And despite Bentley’s customers’ perpetual desire for 12-cylinder internal combustion engines, (Bentley has sold more 12-cylinder donks than any other carmaker ever) Hallmark also said the Crewe firm had polled data from its clientele, and 39 per cent of Bentley owners were considering a battery electric vehicle as their next car.
As WhichCar previously reported, Bentley will only build hybrid and fully electric vehicles from 2026, however, Hallmark has challenged the UK Government’s hybrid ban that’s due to take effect from 2035, saying the government has not done enough to encourage road users to embrace plug-in hybrids and mild-hybrids, let alone battery electric vehicles.
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