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Bentley Motors plans to exclusively offer plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2026 and fully electric models by 2030, the British luxury automaker said on Thursday.
Bentley, owned by the German automaker Volkswagen, will offer two unnamed plug-in hybrid models starting next year. According to the company, the first fully electric vehicle is expected in 2025. Bentley's only plug-in hybrid is currently the Bentayga SUV.
"The future of Bentley will be fully electric," said Bentley chief engineer Matthias Rabe during an event in which he outlined the future direction of the 100-year-old company.
The decision is an important step for the automaker, which is best known for its extremely luxurious vehicles with eight and twelve-cylinder engines. It follows that several other automakers are planning to move away from vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines in exchange for electric drives.
"Within a decade, Bentley will go from being a 100-year-old luxury auto company to a new, sustainable and fully ethical example of luxury," said Adrian Hallmark, Bentley CEO in a statement. He said the company aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2030.
Bentley Bentayga SUV
During the event, Bentley said Bentley is "able" to break even after the company has suffered significant business disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I'm not guaranteed, but that's clearly our mission," said Hallmark, adding that the company should make 10,000 sales this year – slightly lower if not in line with its 11,006 vehicles sold in 2019.
In the summer, Bentley announced it was shedding up to 1,000 jobs, or nearly a quarter of its workforce, through a "voluntary layoff program" as its business plans "were clearly derailed by the effects of the pandemic."