Bentley’s first EV delayed to late 2026

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Bentley’s first electric vehicle won’t debut until late 2026 and won’t start deliveries until the following year, CEO Adrian Hallmark said on Tuesday while announcing the company’s 2023 financial results.

It means the EV will arrive almost two years later than what Bentley announced in 2020, when plans for the vehicle were first announced. Hallmark said the delay was due to software issues and challenges in getting the vehicle’s Volkswagen Group-sourced platform to meet the standards Bentley requires.

Hallmark also said Bentley will delay a previous plan to exclusively sell EVs by 2030, due to the changing market landscape. He said Bentley will continue to offer some plug-in hybrid models in the new decade, but only for the first few years until they are replaced by EV successors.

Bentley is among a growing number of automakers to delay EV plans as demand for the vehicles grows slower than expected.

Adrian Hallmark

Despite the delay in its EV plans, Bentley is still on track to become a fully electrified brand this decade. Bentley’s W-12 engine ends production in April, and CNBC reported that production of Bentley’s V-8 engine will only continue for plug-in hybrid powertrains starting from July or August.

Interestingly, Hallmark has previously said that Bentley is in the unique position where an EV’s battery is actually cheaper than the W-12, and that he can’t wait to change to EVs.

The first EV will be a new model line for Bentley, while subsequent EVs will be redesigned version of existing model lines. The first EV is thought to be a model blending sedan and crossover cues, and may end up similar to the first EV from fellow VW Group brand Lamborghini. The electric Lamborghini is due in 2028 and was previewed last year by the Lanzador concept.

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