The first Bentley EV arriving in 2025 will be an electric SUV and is being developed concurrently with the Audi Artemis (project name) that is scheduled to premiere in late 2024.
Adrian Hallmark, CEO, Bentley, speaking to CAR Magazine, suggested that the Bentley electric car would sit on the Porsche-Audi developed PPE platform and that there won’t be a time gap between the premieres of the Audi Landjet and the Bentley electric SUV.
“With our current cars, we had to get into the engineering largely after they (the platforms) had been done,” CAR Magazine quoted Hallmark saying in a recent report. “The difference now is that with Artemis we’re right in there at the beginning, helping define it. We’re not leading it, but we’re going to be a beneficiary of it,” he added.
The first Bentley electric car has been all but confirmed to be a high-riding model. Asked if it would be an SUV, Hallmark replied:
If you’re not in SUVs, you’re nowhere.Adrian Hallmark, CEO, Bentley, on the style of the firm’s first BEV
Bentley electric car platform, design & range
The PPE platform’s state of charge is 800 volts, enabling rapid charging at 350 kW. Audi, however, is capping the peak charging power of its PPE models to 270 kW. The company has revealed in its annual report for 2020 that PPE cars can deliver a range of up to 600 km or 373 miles and that there’s room to improve in this aspect.
According to an earlier report from Autocar, Bentley has started working on a concept for its first EV. The company has been selling an SUV since 2016 – the Bentayga – but it’s traditionally been the go-to brand for luxury sedans and grand tourers.
Hallmark’s previous statements suggest that the Bentley electric SUV might not be a typical shape like the Bentayga. “We need to be looking at how we can deliver slippier cars with a profile that gets the most out of it aerodynamically,” Hallmark told Autocar this year. Like the Audi Landjet, it could blend two body styles.
The high ground clearance would allow Bentley to safely package batteries on the car’s floor and make the model appealing for a wide range of customers. Genesis is attempting a similar design with the Genesis GV60 at a lower end of the market. Speaking of batteries, they would be a more advanced version of the present day’s Lithium-ion.
Hallmark suggested that launching a Bentley electric car with a smaller body compared to today’s models isn’t an appealing solution for achieving a high range, as customers would see it as a lower price segment product. He hinted that the high-riding all-electric Bentley would have a range of 300-350 miles. Aerodynamics and lightweighting would be focal points of the project.
Bentley has already committed to offering a hybrid powertrain option across the range by 2023. Now, it has said that from 2026, a year after it launches its first EV, which it calls the “first cradle to grave fully carbon-neutral car,” it will sell only PHEVs and BEVs. By 2030, it will migrate 100% to electric vehicles.
Featured image: Bentley