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Bentley pledges £2.5bn for Crewe plant in electric cars move

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Luxury car manufacturer Bentley will invest £2.5bn as it moves towards making electric vehicles.

​It aims to produce its first electric car within the next three years, with exclusively electric models by 2030.

​The new models will be developed at the company's plant in Crewe, Cheshire, which will also see investment to become carbon neutral, the firm said.

​Bentley's CEO Adrian Hallmark said the plans were bold and ambitious and a "milestone moment" for the brand.

​"Our aim is to become the benchmark not just for luxury cars or sustainable credentials but the entire scope of our operations," he said.

​"Securing production of our first BEV [battery-powered electric vehicle] in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe."

​Sales of new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel are set to be banned in the UK from 2030.​

​About 4,000 people are employed at Bentley's factory in Crewe and the firm said it plans to make the plant itself carbon neutral.

​Changes will include becoming net-zero with waste and water-use.

​Peter Bosch, from the company, said the announcement marked arguably the most important day in Bentley's modern history.

​"[It] is a testament to the hard work and skill of our colleagues in Crewe," he said. "The journey really does start now."

​Kieran Mullan, the Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich MP said the announcement was a vote of confidence in the area and future proofs jobs at the plant.

​"I can imagine if you're working in the car industry, there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of change, and today's news means the workers at Bentley know that their future is secure," he said.

​Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the announcement was excellent news and put Crewe at the cutting edge of Britain's green industrial revolution.