Sustainability

Bentley begins rainwater storage at its Crewe headquarters and production facility

A new rainwater harvesting station was installed at Bentley's headquarters recently.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The town of Crewe, England gets, on average, 30.4 inches of rain per year, according to climate-data.org. That's about the same total as Minneapolis, Minnesota. In a move designed to increase the company's sustainability, Bentley has launched a new water usage reduction program.

This isn't the company's first foray into reducing water usage. For the last twenty years, they have worked to reduce the amount of water used per car by 89 percent. They're not the only company that has taken this step. In 2019, FCA reduced its water use by 40 percent, and carbon footprint by 27 percent, and waste generated by per vehicle.

Bentley driving lake car Bentley, like other automakers, is driving toward a more sustainable future. Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

As part of the new initiative Bentley now was a recycling system that works with the water used in the manufacturing process and new captured rainfall storage that can be used for facilities maintenance.

The new water harvesting system consists of one water capture tank, located on the Crewe site, that is equipped with two integrated filters and pumps, that supplies a direct, pressurized supply of water to appliances. It has a capacity of 20,000 liters and can produce more than 1,800 liters of water on the average day.

Peter Bosch, Member of the Board for Manufacturing, said: "At Bentley, we are focused on ensuring that we lead the way in the delivery of sustainable luxury mobility, taking into account the environmental, social and economic impact of our work. Our efforts on water usage reduction over a long period is remarkable, continuing to find new and innovative ways of protecting the environment.

"With the installation of this new system, we will be able to further reduce the demands that our business places on the mains water supply, while doing so in an environmentally-aware manner."

Last year, its Crewe factory was awarded carbon neutral certification from the Carbon Trust.

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The ID.4 will ramp up production as the U.S. says goodbye to the Passat.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Passat will end its run in 2023 at VW's U.S. manufacturing base in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But don't worry, Volkswagen has plans for what is next. In fact, they've already announced the products; they're just now getting around to specifying a timeline.

Currently, the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant is producing the Passat alongside the Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Sport. earlier this year, the plant celebrated the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off its assembly line - Aurora Red Metallic 2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line.

Before the Chattanooga plant opened, Volkswagen hadn't made a vehicle in the U.S. in 22 years following the closing of the Westmoreland facility in Pennsylvania.

1977 Volkswagen Dasher and 2020 Volkswagen Passat The Dasher was the predecessor to the modern Passat. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Passat got its start as a vehicle designed specifically for the North American market. Ground was broken on the Tennessee plant in 2009 and in 2011 it began producing the cars. It currently employees approximately 3,800 people. In the last nine years, the plant has produced more than 700,000 Passats and 100,000 Atlas SUVs. The new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and the refreshed 2021 Atlas recently began production.

Volkswagen has announced that the plant will be the company's North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles including the ID.4, representing an approximately $800 million investment, starting in 2022. The expansion to enable U.S. production of long-range EVs began in November 2019.

The expansion includes a new Engineering and Planning Center (EPC) at the plant that will feature a unique, state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory that is designed to develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs. These cells and packs are slated to be assembled in the U.S. before being inserted into vehicles.

Production of the ID.4 will ramp up starting 2022. It will reach full capacity by 2023, then the Passat will be shown the door. Before the U.S. production begins, Volkswagen will exclusively produce the ID.4 at its Zwickau plant in Germany.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 The Volkswagen ID.4 will be made in the U.S. starting in 2022.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Though the Passat is leaving the U.S. market, it will continue as a vehicle for international sale. Development of the ninth-generation version of the model is currently underway.

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Bentley Motors has outlined its plans for the future.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motor

Bentley Motors has outlined its plans for the future as part of its Beyond100 strategy. The company plans to offer sustainable luxury vehicles and carbon neutral production.

The heart of the plan is to switching the Bentley model range to electrified powertrains. This includes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The Bentley stable will be fully electrified by 2026 and include just EVs from 2030 forward.

The switchover isn't something taken lightly. Bentley will be changing over from the world's largest supplier of 12-cylinder petrol engines to having no internal combustion engines within a decade.

Bentley bees B hood ornament Bentley is already taking steps to make its headquarters more sustainable.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Bentley's emissions-free future extends to its manufacturing plant. It's 80-year old headquarters is the UK's only carbon neutral luxury car factory. Some factory improvements are already underway in Crewe. The company is reclaiming rainwater to help reduce the headquarters' draw on local water supplies. The facility has also initiated local tree planting and the installation of a 10,000 solar panel carport, taking the total number of on-site solar panels to 30,000, as well as aa switch to renewable-only electricity sources.

"Since 1919, Bentley has defined luxury grand touring," said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bentley Motors. “Being at the forefront of progress is part of our DNA - the original Bentley boys were pioneers and leaders. Now, as we look Beyond100, we will continue to lead by reinventing the company and becoming the world's benchmark luxury car business.

"Driving this change includes, and also goes beyond our products, delivering a paradigm shift throughout our business, with credibility, authenticity, and integrity. Within a decade, Bentley will transform from a 100 year old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury."

Bentley will offer its first hybrid model by 2023. Its initial purely electric model will be launched in 2025.

Additional environmental impact points include further improvements to Bentley's tier one supply chain and retailer network.

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