How Bentley Is Saving Water
Last fall Bentley planted 100 native British trees around its site in Crewe. Now it is getting additional sources of water for them and other uses at its facilities.
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In 2019 Bentley Motors delivered—globally—11,006 vehicles, a 5% increase over 2018 sales and the seventh consecutive year above 10,000. (Notably, this is the fourth time in Bentley’s history that it has exceeded 11,000 units—and the company is 100 years old.)
While it might seem that Bentley, refined as it is, would be all about champagne, the company has announced it is implementing a system that will recycle—water.
Lots of water.
Dirty water in, clean water out. (Images: Bentley Motors)
According to Peter Bosch, Member of the Board for Manufacturing at Bentley, “Our projections show that we can expect to capture over 350,000 liters of water in 2020, all of which can now be used to maintain our site. For example, we wash over 16 miles of internal routes every day to ensure that our factory is in immaculate condition – and look after our plants and grounds carefully.”
How It Is Done
The company has installed a reverse osmosis water treatment system for its Pyms Lane paint shop.
There are a series of high-pressure pumps that separate contaminants out of the water used in the painting operation—which is good but insufficient: for every three liters of water going in, only one liter can be used back in paint.
Some water is clean enough for reuse in paint. Some is used to wash the floors.
Even More Water
So Bentley has installed an additional recycling system in the facility that captures the two liters that are not purified to the degree required for the high-quality paint surface that is expected on a Bentayga or Continental GT.
According to Peter Bosch, they’re going to be going after even more water: “Our next focus point will be to capture even larger volumes through rainwater harvesting.”
What This Means
If you have any doubt that global OEMs are now paying keen attention to environmental issues, when a company that makes a comparative handful of cars is now looking at collecting rainwater, it seems there is more than a shift in that direction.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle that has been increasing in sales year after year since its introduction in 1997.
Once the playground of exotic car makers, the definition of a niche vehicle has expanded to include image vehicles for mainstream OEMs, and specialist models produced on high-volume platforms.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors Co. over claimed flaws in the company’s 8-speed automatic transmission used in 2015-2019 model rear-drive vehicles.