Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on October 6, 2008
Bentley, the mega-luxury British carmaker owned by Volkswagen, announced at the Geneva Auto Show this month that it will phase it its all-gas engines by 2012. This marks the first luxury auto line – and one of few overall – to switch to bio- and flex- fuel engines.
The first of these flex-fuel engines is due out in 2009, and by 2012 Bentley will be using a new powertrain that’s expected to include hybrid technologies. If you’re a Bentley fan — and chances are you’re not, because these are some of the most expensive cars on the market — you won’t have to sacrifice power or luxury; Bentley remains dedicated to providing its customers with excellent performance.
Perhaps most interesting is Bentley’s ability to see global warming on a broad scope. Franz-Joseph Paefgen, Bentley’s CEO, outlined this vision in Geneva: “Bentley does not believe that short-term measures are an appropriate answer to these global issues and is basing its strategy on a long-term vision,” adding that “we will set a benchmark in our segment of the industry by making every engine capable of running on renewable fuels, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency throughout our fleet.”
There has been a spate of green luxury cars appearing at the major auto shows that seems out of proportion to their market share. This begs the question of whether the average consumer will be able to afford to make environmentally conscious decisions. In the middle class, social responsibility often takes a backseat to affordability. Hopefully one of the major brands will flood the market with cleaner vehicles that we can all enjoy.