The first electric Bentley in history was planned for 2025. We're using the past tense because the company itself, through the mouth of its CEO Adrian Hallmark interviewed by Automotive News, has announced the postponement of the launch of its battery-powered model to 2026.

The decision comes as a surprise and was taken following software development problems and"concerns about the platform". The platform will be the PPE inaugurated by the electric Porsche Macan and also used by the Audi Q6 e-tron.

Better plug-ins

While the development of Bentley's first electric car has not been halted but delayed, the British firm has no intention of blocking the launch of new plug-in models. More precisely, those powered by rechargeable powertrains, already present on certain models and which, according to Hallmark, will be available across the range from 2026.

Indeed, while Bentley initially predicted a fall in demand for plug-in cars from 2028 onwards, now the prospect is that demand will increase over the next few years. This is why Crewe is"investing hundreds of millions" in this technology, which is expected to last beyond 2030.

<p>Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept</p>

Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept

And here's more news."If we invest significantly in a hybrid car in 2026-27, we will need to run it until 2031 or 2032 to recoup the investment we have made," said the company's number one, pushing back the goal of making Bentley a pure electric brand to 2033, three years later than originally planned.

Returning to the new plug-in powertrain, we know that it will take the place of the monumental V12, retired with the 740 PS Batur, will be based on a petrol V8 and will be used by the GT, GTC and Flying Spur from 2024. The current V6 PHEV will remain in the range, representing the entry-level powertrain, while in 2026 the Bentayga will become 100% electric, but it's not likely to be the first Crewe car to be powered solely by batteries.

<p>Bentley Bentayga</p>

Bentley Bentayga

<p>Bentley Batur</p>

Bentley Batur

The honour of leading the way on the zero-emission scene should go to some kind of SUV/crossover with 1,400 PS and a 0-62 mph time of 1.5 seconds. Nothing to do with the EXP 100 GT Concept presented in 2019 and described Hallmark a few years ago as, "The battery-powered W12". Of course, we don't know whether development has continued in this direction or taken a different path.

According to Hallmark, the range will be between 350 and 450 miles, with less than 20 minutes to charge from 10 to 80 per cent battery capacity.

Gallery: Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept