Bentley electric car: specs, prices and on-sale date
Bentley has announced details of a three-year research project designed to “transform electric vehicle powertrains”. The plans reinforce the company’s ambition to “lead sustainable luxury mobility” with the goal of launching the first pure-electric Bentley model by 2026.
The so-called OCTOPUS project has been set up following an initial 18-month trial period that, according to Bentley, delivered “a technological breakthrough in electric drive systems for high-performance vehicles”.
Stefan Fischer, Director of Powertrain Engineering at Bentley Motors, said: “We have made no secret of our ambition to lead the way in the delivery of sustainable luxury mobility. We have a clear roadmap to offer a hybrid option for every model by 2023, and our next goal moves towards a fully electric Bentley by 2026.”
Funded by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, OCTOPUS sees Bentley collaborate with myriad companies with differing specialities – from electronics optimisation, to motor and transmission design. Bentley claims the electric drive system is free from rare-earth magnets and copper windings, allowing the company to develop a package that is both “cost effective and recyclable at its end of life”.
Previously, Sielaff has said that he thought a new Bentley electric car should have more than two seats – suggesting the company could choose either a high-riding SUV-style vehicle or something lower and sportier. However, his belief pointed towards the latter: "a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance".
As part of the wider Volkswagen Group, Bentley has access to a wide range of mechanical platforms and innovative technologies – including that of the latest Porsche Taycan electric car. If Bentley were to use the Taycan as a base, it’s feasible any future production model could boast a range of up to 310 miles, as well as a power output in the region of 600bhp.
It’s also thought that Bentley could be investigating wireless charging – the firm’s previous CEO had suggested its customers wouldn’t want to get their hands dirty on mucky, wet charging cables.
It’s impossible to put a predicted price on the forthcoming Bentley electric car, but given the high value of its current products, it’s almost certain that any future EV would cost upwards of £150,000. Luxury fittings and fixtures are guaranteed, alongside prodigious performance and sports car-like handling.