Bentley begins EV powertrain study; aims fully electric car by 2026
Bentley has launched a three-year research study in a bid to transform electric vehicle powertrains, utilising a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports electric vehicle architectures. The carmaker says this reinforces its ambition to lead sustainable luxury mobility and introduce the first fully electric Bentley by 2026.
The study is titled OCTOPUS, which stands for Optimised Components, Test and simulatiOn, toolkits for Powertrains which integrate Ultra high-speed motor Solutions. The research follows an initial 18-month investigation that Bentley says delivered a technological breakthrough in electric drive systems for high-performance vehicles.
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The carmaker says that the resulting electric drive system exceeded the latest permanent magnet motor performance while simultaneously removing the need for both rare-earth magnets and copper windings, delivering a package both cost effective and recyclable at its end of life.
OCTOPUS will take this motor, power electronics and packaging transmission design, adding next generation materials, manufacturing processes, simulation and test cycles to deliver a full e-axle powertrain with unique levels of integration and revolutionary performance characteristics suitable for real world application by 2026. "We have a clear roadmap to offer a hybrid option for every model by 2023, starting with the Bentayga Hybrid, and our next goal moves towards a fully electric Bentley by 2026," says Stefan Fischer, Director of Powertrain Engineering at Bentley.