Talking at the SMMT summit today, he said: “We have had to ruthlessly prioritise our spend. We’ve had to pull levers to control costs. Whatever we’ve done has been on the combustion engine. We have delayed or deleted certain derivatives.
“All of our plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are full steam ahead. We and the industry may see this as a natural accelerator to green technologies. If you have to prioritise, where do you place your bets? More horsepower or more cell technology? The obvious answer is the latter.”
Christain Dahlheim, Volkswagen Group head of sales, agreed that the pandemic will hasten the move to EVs. “The perception of cleaner air has raised awareness for sustainability. And many governments in Europe are moving to transform the industry and invest in greener technologies.
“Half of our consumers [in Germany] are willing to drive EVs. The biggest hurdle has been infrastructure. If that can be solved, we think EV share can be accelerated.”
“If we’re to launch an electric car in the mid-2020s, then it either needs to be smaller than today’s cars or the same size but not as upright, and smaller isn’t an appealing solution, as it implies a lower price segment,” said Hallmark. “The prediction is battery technology will have moved forward again by that date and that will put us at the edge of what we think we need to give customers: 300-350 miles of range, or enough to cruise at a 65mph average for five hours.
“We need to be looking at how we can deliver slippier cars with a profile that gets the most out of it aerodynamically in order to deliver on that promise.”
The target date of 2025 and Hallmark’s comments confirm growing evidence that the first Bentley EV will crown a position of environmental and sustainability leadership that the company has been building towards in recent years. » […]