Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark has called on the UK government and regulators to make clearer and more decisive statements if they want car buyers to switch to electrified vehicles.
Speaking at the FT Future of the Car summit, Hallmark noted that the most significant growth for diesel in the past was directly related to the governments introduction of tax incentives to encourage people to adopt the low-carbon fuel option.
“Diesel was presented as a solution 15-20 years ago and the incentives gave a clear and simple economic advantage,” Hallmark said. “More importantly, that was a decisive action, and there has to be one if we want people to travel in battery-electric vehicles. We have to force and put electric cars at the heart of the system.
The UK Government is offering a £3,500 grant for vehicles that emit less than 50 g/km of CO2 and have a zero emission range of at least 70 miles. There is a subsidy of £8,000 for similar commercial vans, with a subsidy of £500 available against the cost of installing a licensed domestic loading unit.
But Hallmark believes the incentives need to be much broader to drive the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK.
“In other countries, loading points are standardized, there are intelligent loading solutions, every newly built house has a loading point in it – they are looking to incentivize and integrate,” Hallmark said. “Here, unless youre a Tesla customer and have a safe at home, you face possible complications in your life to have your car loaded.
“To be seamless requires a more concerted effort.”
Bentley launched a plug-in hybrid version of its Bentley Bentayga last year, and the firms chief engineer, Werner Tietz, recently told Autocar that the firm was researching hydrogen fuel cell technology as a potential alternative to battery electric models in the future.