Bentley Motors, the ultra luxury automaker under VW Group, will only produce plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars starting in 2026 with an aim to drop all combustion engines in the next decade.
The company said Thursday its entire lineup will be all-electric by 2030. That plan, known as Beyond 100, is already underway with the British manufacturer confirming that two plug-in hybrid models will come out next year. The company's first all-electric vehicle will come to market in 2025.
The aim is to turn a company known for its 12-cylinder combustion engine-powered grand touring machines into a leader in "sustainable luxury mobility," according to the company. Bentley noted that it has already renovated its 80-year-old headquarters, which became the first U.K. factory certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.
The Beyond 100 plan will touch every aspect of the company, from the development of its electrified models and operations to its Tier 1 supply chain and retailer network, according to Bentley Motors Chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark.
Bentley's shift is part of its parent company's broader strategy to become a leading producer and seller of electric, connected cars. Volkswagen has set a target to sell about one million electric cars per year by 2025.
The plan at Bentley expands on its previous commitments to offer a hybrid variant on every model line by 2023, as well improve its operations. All suppliers will have passed a sustainability audit, verifying their sustainability credentials at the end of the year, according to Bentley.
Bentley isn't just shifting to electric cars. The company also aims to make itself "recession proof," an ambitious goal that has started with a restructuring and a workforce reduction of about 800 positions, of which about 200 were filled by contractors. Bentley had been on a tear, but like so many other automakers was affected by government shutdowns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bentley said Thursday that its cost-cutting measures and restructuring has put the business in a position to "achieve a positive financial performance for the full year 2020, in spite of the extenuating external circumstances."