Bentley pledges £2.5bn for Crewe plant in electric cars move

Image source, Bentley
Image caption,
The plant at Crewe is set to become carbon-neutral with the investment, the firm says

Luxury car manufacturer Bentley will invest £2.5bn as it moves towards making electric vehicles.

It aims to produce its first electric car within the next three years, with exclusively electric models by 2030.

The new models will be developed at the company's plant in Crewe, Cheshire, which will also see investment to become carbon neutral, the firm said.

Bentley's CEO Adrian Hallmark said the plans were bold and ambitious and a "milestone moment" for the brand.

"Our aim is to become the benchmark not just for luxury cars or sustainable credentials but the entire scope of our operations," he said.

"Securing production of our first BEV [battery-powered electric vehicle] in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe."

Sales of new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel are set to be banned in the UK from 2030.

About 4,000 people are employed at Bentley's factory in Crewe and the firm said it plans to make the plant itself carbon neutral.

Changes will include becoming net-zero with waste and water-use.

Peter Bosch, from the company, said the announcement marked arguably the most important day in Bentley's modern history.

"[It] is a testament to the hard work and skill of our colleagues in Crewe," he said. "The journey really does start now."

Kieran Mullan, the Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich MP said the announcement was a vote of confidence in the area and future proofs jobs at the plant.

"I can imagine if you're working in the car industry, there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of change, and today's news means the workers at Bentley know that their future is secure," he said.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the announcement was excellent news and put Crewe at the cutting edge of Britain's green industrial revolution.

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