The luxury carmaker Bentley has announced that its first fully electric car will be developed and built at its Crewe factory.

The British brand’s first battery electric vehicle is scheduled to roll off the production line in 2025.

Bentley, which has been making cars since 1919 and is now owned by Germany’s Volkswagen, has committed to investing £2.5bn in sustainability over the next 10 years. This will include what the company called the “complete transformation” of all Bentley vehicles and its Crewe plant, which employs 4,000 workers.

Workers who build the brand’s internal combustion engines will be retrained and redeployed to work in different areas of the plant.

Bentley, known for its large and powerful cars, announced in late 2020 that it would stop making vehicles that run on fossil fuel by 2030, aiming to make its operations fully carbon neutral by the same date. Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030.

As part of the brand’s Beyond100 strategy, mapping out its plans beyond its centenary, the company set itself ambitious targets in the transition towards electric vehicles.

In Bentley’s switch from building cars with traditional internal combustion engines, it will first make hybrid vehicles, before introducing its first pure electric cars, with zero-carbon exhaust emissions. The company has not revealed any details of its first fully electric car.

Adrian Hallmark, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Securing production of our first BEV in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe.”

Bentley’s plant at its Cheshire headquarters will be turned into an advanced manufacturing facility as part of its move towards environmental sustainability.

The carmaker, whose vehicles cost from about £130,000 to more than £240,000, has previously said its environmental targets would help it to be “financially resilient and recession-proof” after the coronavirus pandemic.

Electric vehicle sales boomed in 2021, according to recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, as carmakers sold 190,000 battery electric cars, accounting for almost 12% of total sales.

Extracted in full from: Bentley to build its first fully electric car at Crewe factory | Automotive industry | The Guardian