Bentley Racing Green

Crewe, Monday 28th April 2008… A Bentley Motors apprentice team has won a special “Spirit of Greenpower” award for its performance in the Greenpower Corporate Challenge which took place at Goodwood race circuit yesterday. The Bentley apprentice team designed, engineered and built the electric powered car which they entered into the Greenpower Challenge as well as a season of “F24+” racing. The Bentley Greenpower car is called Continental DC (Direct Current) and runs off a 24-volt motor supplied by two 12-volt batteries. Designed for lightness and maximum power efficiency the one-seater Continental DC has a carbon fibre chassis and low resistance tyres.

Greenpower is a series of events which aims to promote greater interest in young people to follow careers in the fields of engineering and technology. The 2008 Greenpower corporate challenge held yesterday was the first race of the season. 25 teams entered, comprising 15 school entries and 10 company teams. The Bentley team achieved their goal of completing the four hour race, despite some technical difficulties in the first section. The award was given in recognition of their excellent team spirit which they showed in overcoming these initial technical challenges. The F24+ season consists of eight 90-minute endurance race events which will culminate in a grand final at Goodwood in October. Race tracks on the F24+ schedule include Dunsfold, Rockingham, Croft and Aintree.

The Bentley Motors team is composed of nine of the company’s apprentices who are all following a three or four year apprenticeship scheme at the factory in Crewe. Margaret Cheshire, Head of People and Organisational Development at Bentley Motors said, “It’s fantastic that the apprentices are not only gaining the technical skills associated with building a car but are also increasing their knowledge of other areas of the business such as finance, purchasing and public relations.” She continued, “It’s all about giving the individuals knowledge and expertise to be successful in their future careers after the completion of the Bentley apprenticeship programme.”

Having taken the initiative themselves to compete in the Greenpower challenge the apprentices have devoted weekends and evenings for the past ten months taking full responsibility for all aspects of the car’s development. Three team members acted as drivers on race day, the rest of the team provided essential back-up support in the pits.

Tom Hodgson, Greenpower team manager added, “In building the car we pooled the expertise and resources from across the business to produce a project of which we’re all proud. Having completed our first race we now know what we have to do to be successful for the rest of the 2008 Greenpower season. The experience of developing a project from idea to race-day was exhilarating. It was also hugely satisfying to see the positive support from sponsors keen to help the Bentley team”.

Technical highlights of the Bentley Greenpower car

– Its 24v Motor delivers 0.5bhp and 5.1 lb ft (7Nm):

– Top speed of 40mph (64km/h).

– Zero CO2 emissions.

– Chassis & design:

o Fixed carbon fibre suspension wishbones for maximum strength and minimum weight.

o Excellent roadholding and superior grip from unique 1x16” carbon fibre wheels with bespoke Michelin low resistance tyres.

o Rear grille matrix in chrome finish.

o Bentley Hide/Alcantara trimmed interior

o Specially built ECU to control motor/transmission

More information on the project is available at


MODEL TYPE Single Seater


Type 24v Wheelchair motor (Regulation)

Installation Transversely mounted, One-wheel drive

Power 240 Watt

Torque 7 Nm

Fuel Source 2 x 12 v Lead Acid Batterys


Type Continuous one-wheel drive

Gearbox Nuvinci CVP

Ratios Infinitely variable between 0.5 under and 1.75 overdrive


Top speed 40mph (64km/h).


Front Single wishbone rigid suspension

Rear Single wishbone rigid suspension


Type Rack & pinion,

Turns lock to lock 1

Turning circle (kerb to kerb) 19.2m


Rear 160mm ventilated disc (to single wheel)

Anti lock In development!


Construction Carbon Fibre monocoque

Length 1420mm

Width (inc. mirrors) 1000mm (82.76in)

Weight 120 Kg

Height 500mm

Wheelbase 1300mm

Front track 1000mm

Rear track 1000mm

Wheels Custom made 16” carbon fibre

Tyres Michelin Eco-Marathon specials


Fuel consumption 2 hours per battery set

Carbon dioxide emissions 0g/km


EXTERIOR FEATURES Bright chromed grille

Bentley Wheel Badge

INTERIOR FEATURES Trimmed Steering wheel, Seat and dashboard, Touch screen driver information panel in development

Tom Hodgson

Bentley Test & Development Engineering Apprentice

Greenpower Project Manager

Andrew Conneely

Bentley Whole Vehicle Engineering Sponsored Degree Apprentice

Greenpower Design of steering and suspension components

Martyn Brookes

Bentley Prototype Workshop and Test Facility Apprentice

Greenpower Chassis, Design & Electrical.

Ellis Dawson

Bentley Apprentice Analyst Programmer

Greenpower Team Marketing, Website, data logging and telemetry.

Annabelle Gibson

Bentley Commercial Apprentice

Greenpower Contact for sponsors.

Charlotte Watling

Bentley Electrical Engineering Apprentice

Greenpower Electrical design & Production and driver.

Hannah Proffitt

Bentley Body Hardware Engineering Sponsored Degree Apprentice

Greenpower Interior trim, Steering and driver.

Laura Taylor

Bentley Trim Development Apprentice

Greenpower Seat design and manufacture.

Paul Johnson

Bentley Manufacturing maintenance Apprentice

Greenpower Data logging and telemetry

*We have received much support from across the Crewe Factory