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William Maley

Bentley News: Bentley Mulsanne To Swap V8 for Electric Power?

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Bentley is considering whether or not they should offer an electric powertrain for their flagship sedan, the Mulsanne. Hans Holzgartner, product and marketing manager for the Mulsanne told Autocar part of the reason for this comes down to Chinese lawmakers possibly passing legislation banning all vehicles except EVs in certain cities.

 

“At the moment, the indication is that full electric will be the only way that you’ll get into some of the cities in China. I wouldn’t say we’re discounting [hybrid engines] completely, but it looks like if you don’t have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won’t get into some cities in China,” said Holzgartner.

 

Similar legislation is being considered in other European countries, causing Bentley to put the idea of electric powertrains as a possible high priority item.

 

But why the Mulsanne? Why not one of their small and 'lighter' models? Holzgartner explained that adding an electric powertrain into the Mulsanne would improve some of the key traits such providing a quiet ride.

 

“With a Mulsanne-sized car, it’s all about torque anyway,” he added. “The delivery characteristics of electric drive — loads of bottom-end torque, almost silent delivery, very smooth — they all fit," said Holzhartner.

 

“Our challenge is to make something that’s as interesting to drive as a current Bentley, because while a Mulsanne will be driven in almost silent mode even with a petrol engine, if you’ve got a Mulsanne Speed you’ll want to let rip every so often. That’s going to be the challenge: creating something that can be fun as well.”

 

Source: Autocar


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This makes total sense and with some places being destroyed by acid rain from all the diesel and other polluting auto's and companies, it would make sense to have your ubber luxury ride be pure EV.

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This sounds like mostly a China mandate... but still, with the size of the car, I'm sure there is plenty of room for batteries if they go all-electric. 

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University of Waterloo in Canada working with BASF have found a way to stabilize Lithium Sulfur batteries. These batteries are known to carry 75% denser energy storage in a traditional LiS cell compared to a LiO cell. This would reduce greatly the size of a battery pack needed.

 

Example is the current LiO battery pack in the upcoming Bolt is 225 mile range based on current info. If you can add 75% more range to this battery pack you have a 393.75 mile range on the battery pack and I think most would agree that it would be more than enough for most uses even day time road trips.

 

Just think if this Chevy Spark battery pack which is 85 mile range had a 75% increase in power density with no change in size, that becomes a 148.75 mile battery pack which is still way better than the current version.

 

post-12-0-21825600-1468427398_thumb.jpg

 

https://chargedevs.com/newswire/researchers-announce-significant-improvement-in-li-s-battery-performance-and-cycle-life/

 

Interesting points of acknowledgement in the links is:

 

"The lithium–sulfur battery is receiving intense interest because its theoretical energy density exceeds that of lithium-ion batteries at much lower cost,"

 

 

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This would probably be 2020 or after offering, by that point battery range will improve, price will fall.   It makes sense since the Mulsanne is already huge and heavy, weight and price are not a worry.  If they can pack 800 lb-ft of electric torque and silent operation, I think most Mulsanne buyers will like that.   And range isn't even that big a deal, how many miles will they ever go in one, probably half of Mulsanne owners have a privet jet.

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