Bentley may launch electric car by 2025

Luxury brand considering new EV based on Audi/Porsche platform

Bentley could launch its first all-electric production vehicle before 2025.

Adrian Hallmark, Bentley CEO, has told Reuters the company is currently debating if it should produce its first fully electric model, with a decision due within a year.

If given the green light, Hallmark says the plan is to have the car on the market “definitely before 2025”.

During the Volkswagen Group’s earnings call overnight Frank Witter, the group’s chief financial officer, indicated Bentley could use Premium Platform Electric being jointly developed by Audi and Porsche to help bring an EV to market quickly.

It’s not known if Bentley’s potential future electric vehicle would share anything in common with the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept shown at the 2017 Geneva motor show.

Thanks to its reliance on V8 and W12 engines, Bentley has a large carbon footprint, something it will need to reduce if it is to meet ever tightening CO2 emissions targets. It currently plans to launch plug-in hybrid models to help in this regard.

Although the Porsche and Bentley have very different origins, the two companies have been drawn closer and closer together since they became part of the Volkswagen Group.

Not only do both brands now reside within the company’s super-luxury group, but Bentley provides financing through Porsche’s financial services arm.

It also shifted the latest Continental GT onto the rear-wheel drive MSB platform developed by Porsche, although reported problems with adapting Porsche’s dual-clutch transmission for Bentley’s target market is weighing down on the company’s bottom line.

So far this year Bentley has lost €137 million ($222 million).

“The ramp up [for the new Continental GT] has been slower than we might have wished since the product wasn’t mature enough yet,” Witter admitted.