Porsche also has a similar plan.
As the automotive industry begins transitioning to electric powertrains to reduce global emissions, several automakers have announced when they will become electric-only brands. From 2025, Jaguar will only sell electric cars. Likewise, Bentley will switch to electric-only powertrains by 2030.
This doesn't necessarily mean traditional combustion powertrains will be gone for good, however. To keep the internal combustion engine alive, Porsche has partnered with Siemens Energy to develop clean synthetic fuel, and now Bentley is also considering developing synthetic fuel to preserve its combustion engines like the 6.0-liter-turbocharged W12 engine that powers the new Bentley Continental GT Speed.
"We're looking more at sustainable fuels, either synthetic or bio-gen. We think the combustion engine will be around for a long time yet, and if that's the case, then we think there can be a significant environmental advantage from synthetic fuels," said Bentley engineering boss Matthias Rabe during an interview with Autocar.
"We will have more to say on this in time, but we're positive about this technology. We absolutely believe in e-fuels as a further step beside electromobility. We will probably tell you more details on this. Right now the costs are high and we will have to install some processes, but in the long-term, why not?"
Bentley's chairman Adrian Hallmark is also enthusiastic about synthetic fuels but acknowledges that it won't be an easy transition. "Today we need about five trillion barrels of oil a day, so replacing that with e-fuels won't be possible," he said. "But as EV uptake rises, to further reduce the impact of cars that need liquid fuels, it can be a parallel exercise, and we can be involved in that journey too. It won't replace battery electric vehicles, but it can extend the life of combustion-engined cars in a more sustainable way."
Not everyone is ready to transition to EVs and combustion cars continue to outsell EVs, so they aren't going away any time soon. Extending the life of combustion engines in a way that doesn't harm the planet will be a win-win situation for everyone.