Bentley's electric car switch gets a jump with engineering recruitment drive

Parent group Volkswagen is pumping $36.81 billion into the shift to electric vehicles

Bentley plans to offer only plug-in hybrid and electric cars by 2026 and switch its entire line-up to fully battery-powered vehicles by the end of the decade. Photo: Bentley
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Luxury car maker Bentley is hiring engineers as part of its strategy to design and develop electric vehicles.

The 100 engineers will work across the company to support Bentley’s Five-in-Five drive to launch the cars from 2025.

German-owned Bentley wants its first all-electric vehicle to be ready by then, and has also unveiled major investments to realise its ambition to become a fully carbon-zero company — all while planning to maintain its reputation for luxury.

“Bentley is in the middle of the most significant transformative phase in the company’s long and illustrious history,” said board member Matthias Rabe.

“Extraordinary products have always been at the heart of our business. However, tomorrow’s engineers face the most exciting challenges in a generation as we become an exclusively electric car business.

“We are looking for true innovators, who can create the new future of automotive.”

The vacancies are across engineering, research and development, user experience and design. About half of them are electrical skills so Bentley can reach its goal of full electrification of its product range within eight years.

They will be based at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, near Manchester, England, where about 4,000 people work.

Parent group Volkswagen — whose 12 brands also include Audi, Porsche and Skoda — is pumping €35 billion ($36.81bn) into the shift to electric vehicles and aims to become the world's largest electric carmaker by 2025.

British car production is undergoing a period of restructuring. Overall output fell about 7 per cent to fewer than 860,000 cars last year. This was the smallest number in more than six decades and about a third below pre-pandemic levels.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders expects a rebound to more than a million units this year as the components bottleneck eases and car makers from Stellantis to Nissan start retooling their UK factories to make them fit for electrification.

Bentley plans to offer only plug-in hybrid and electric cars by 2026 and switch its entire line-up to fully battery-powered vehicles by the end of the decade. Luxury-car brands like Bentley, Ferrari and Aston Martin face a delicate task in preserving brand identity during the costly shift to batteries.

Although also built around superior engine performance, Bentley’s push to electrify is getting help from Volkswagen’s vast technology investments, which seek to challenge Tesla as the dominant electric vehicle maker.

Updated: April 28, 2022, 4:01 PM