Bentley Motors today unveiled a far-reaching environmental strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and dramatically improve fuel economy.
Bentley will become the first manufacturer in its segment and one of the first in the world to deliver renewable-fuel vehicles throughout its range, along with substantial powertrain improvements. The strategy follows years of engineering studies and intensive product development, exploring alternative environmental technologies in depth. The renewable fuel programme reflects Bentley’s commitment to the environment while maintaining vehicle performance.
Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley Chief Executive, said: “This is a major step in the history of Bentley, reflecting the increasing expectation from our customers around the world for performance motoring with fuel efficient engines. We will set a benchmark in our segment of the industry by making every engine capable of running on renewable fuels, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency throughout our fleet.”
Dr Paefgen said the initiative will help Bentley as a corporation to address the two-fold global issue of CO2 emissions and longer-term fuel availability, as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“Bentley does not believe that short-term measures are an appropriate answer to these global issues, and is basing its strategy on a long-term vision,” he added.
Efficiency improvements will be achieved first through the application of innovative technology to its 8 and 12 cylinder engines, including enhanced engine management, and new, improved transmissions and drivelines, as well as through weight reduction. As part of its commitment to reduce CO2 output on every new model, these efforts will lead to at least a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2012.
Secondly, a new powertrain will be introduced by 2012, delivering a 40% reduction in fuel consumption, while maintaining current levels of performance.
Thirdly, all engines across the entire range will become compatible with the use of renewable fuels by 2012, with the initial rollout beginning by next year.
“It is our conviction that renewable fuels, in particular second-generation biofuels, have strong potential,” said Dr Paefgen. “On a well-to-wheel basis, such fuels can deliver a consistently high net CO2 reduction of up to 90%.
The benefits of second-generation biofuels are significant:
They deliver a massive reduction in total CO2 emissions
They do not compete with food requirements as a raw material base
The use of biomass waste for fuel requires minimal additional land use
They deliver much higher yields than first generation crop-based fuels
“By preparing our engines at an early stage for these fuels, we believe we will help accelerate their adoption, as the supply and market for them develop. Taken together, the measures we are announcing will make the entire Bentley fleet capable of delivering less that 120 g/km by 2012,” Dr Paefgen added.