The year ‘2020’ is finally here, which marks the beginning of a new decade – a decade that is going to be very crucial for the automobile industry as it decisively transitions towards electrification. We have already seen some of the biggest car manufacturers beginning to expand their line-up of electrified cars and spend billions for R&D on electric mobility. Bentley, however, isn’t rushing in and wants to do it right. The British luxury automaker revealed its first-ever electrified production car at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in the form of a hybrid Bentayga; but, the company won’t fit an electric powertrain and a battery pack in one of the cars in its current portfolio to jump into the EV market. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark said: “We could take one of the existing nameplates, and that could be the first electric car, but we wouldn’t take an existing car and try to fit batteries into it because there’s a compromise from a range and efficiency point of view.”
In the same interview, Adrian Hallmark made a fascinating remark on Bentley’s direction while planning the brand’s first EV. Hallmark explained how energy-dense, solid-state battery technology could be a game-changer and make electric cars more compact and lighter. “I’m not saying that we are guaranteed to go solid state, but that is already on the radar within that mid-2020s period. They are about 30% lighter for the same power as lithium-ion. An I-pace has 720 kg (1,587 pounds) of batteries, so going to 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) instead of 720kg makes a difference. Also, think about how that changes the packaging,” Hallmark said. “With new battery technologies, it will be possible to make cars that are lower as well as cars that are taller because the increased power density will overcome the aero resistance.” Back in June 2019, Bentley unveiled a slick concept called the EXP 100 GT to celebrate its 100th birthday. The all-electric concept was presented as “the Grand Tourer for the world of 2035.” It hints at the vision for future Bentley cars with electric propulsion. However, the leadership suggests that the first all-electric Bentley won’t arrive anytime before 2025. But, before that, the luxury British company will keep focusing on its current portfolio and add a hybrid powertrain to every model by 2023.