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Bentley plug-in hybrid confirmed – but not for the ‘Green’

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

The very best sort of 'Green Bentley'

To be entirely fair to Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer, he hasn’t said that Bentley are planning a hybrid for reasons other than a green halo, but it seems very likely that’s the case. Especially as they are planning a plug-in Bentley.

So what other reason could Bentley have for offering a plug-in hybrid other than to be ‘Green’? The EU, is the simple answer.

The EU are planning to ban ICE cars from European cities at some point in the not too distant future, but are very likely to start that ball rolling by putting obstacles in the way of ICE cars in cities long before any ban comes in to play.

That could take the form of financial penalties – not of huge concern to most Bentley owners – but also in the form of restricting parking permits and movement for cars that don’t have the requisite low emissions.

So, just like sister company Bugatti, Bentley plan to make sure their owners aren’t inconvenienced by petty bureaucracy, and the easiest way to do that is to produce a plug-in hybrid.

By making Bentleys plug-ins – but with a modest 25-30km range – Bentley manages to make their cars capable of travelling from the centre of any city in Europe to the outskirts on pure electric power, completely circumventing any future restrictions on ICE cars in cities.

The modest EV range means the batteries don’t need to weigh a ton or cost a fortune, and as long as the plug-in range is enough to get out of restricted areas on EV power, that’s all that matters. That it might help CAFE targets and cast a green halo is a bonus, but keeping Bentley owners off the park and ride is the real aim.

Dürheimer also seems to have woken up and realised that bio-fuels are a fool’s errand and, although they served the purpose of making Bentley look as though they were taking ‘Green’ seriously, they are a road to nowhere. So Bentley are likely to drop E85 use altogether.

Sensible, joined-up plans. It’s not hard to work out Bentley is now owned by the Germans.

By Cars UK