Bentley will do its bit to combat climate change by fitting one of the country's biggest solar panel installations at its factory in Crewe in the north of England.
Construction has already started on the 10,000 unit-strong solar farm, which will be used to create a large car port facility, providing room for 1,378 cars. Once completed, the new solar panels will provide 2.7MW of power to the factory – enough to cover a quarter of Bentley's total power consumption.
Once the new setup is completed in six months, the installation will bring Bentley's total solar panel count to over 30,000. In 2013, a 20,815-panel solar rooftop was installed on top of the factory. The existing solar farm combined with the new one will cover almost two-thirds of Bentley's power needs, which alternatively is enough to power around 1,750 homes.
Bentley says that its commitment to solar power echoes its shifting focus within its product lineup, with more electric and hybrid models set to enter its range. The company has indicated that it will introduce an all-electric model based on the same architecture as the production version of Porsche's Mission E concept.
"The next step for sure is an electric, unique Bentley that isn’t based on an existing car but a completely fresh and new development, with electric propulsion and obviously different proportions following the function," Bentley's design director Stefan Sielaff said recently. "It gives us a great chance to establish a completely new design language for the company."
One possibility for the electric Bentley could be a four-door coupe, much like the concept Mission E, which would present a whole new territory for the company. Bentley insiders have also indicated that the next-generation Continental GT could also be electric, although that car isn't due until well into the 2020s.
Gallery: 2019 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
BENTLEY MOTORS TO BUILD THE UK’S LARGEST EVER SOLAR-POWERED CAR PORT
- 10,000 solar panels will generate 2.7MW of power
- System could cover 24 per cent of Bentley’s electrical energy requirements and reduce CO₂ by 3,300 tonnes per year
- Car port increases Bentley’s solar energy system to over 30,000 panels – enough energy to cover over 1,750 homes
(Crewe, 10 April 2018) Bentley Motors today announces that construction has started on the UK’s largest ever solar-powered car port at Bentley’s factory headquarters in Crewe, UK.
The installation of 10,000 solar panels, which has a capacity of 2.7MW, will take approximately six months to complete. Once completed, the car port - which covers Bentley’s colleague car park - will take Bentley’s energy system to 30,815 solar panels. This includes the 20,815 panel roof top installation completed in 2013.
Commenting on the installation, Peter Bosch, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing, said:
“We continue to focus on new initiatives that reinforce our commitment to the environment, whether this is introducing alternative powertrain technologies in future models, or our award-winning work to reduce the environmental impact of our factory.
“This solar installation is another example of how we can make our factory more sustainable by using technological innovation. This helps us produce extraordinary cars with responsibly-sourced materials in an efficient manner, while continually striving to reduce the company’s environmental impact.”
The solar car port installation, which covers 1,378 car parking spaces, and an area of 16,426m², will be installed and operated by FlexiSolar, the innovative solar car port specialist.
The project is also backed by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency driven to support the science and technology initiatives that will grow the UK economy.
This solar installation announcement follows recent recognition that Bentley Motors has become the first UK automotive manufacturer to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standards for carbon, water and waste, further reducing the environmental impact of its operations in Crewe.