Bentley apprentice team wins "Spirit of GreenPower" award at Greenpower Corporate Challenge

The only green usually associated with Bentley other than the color is the amount you have to spend to own and operate one. However there are some within Bentley who are working on cars that don't necessarily represent conspicuous consumption. A team of young apprentices working for Bentley took part in the GreenPower Corporate Challenge over the weekend and won the "Spirit of GreenPower" award with their Continental DC. The Continental DC doesn't have the typical wood and leather interior associated with the brand, but instead is a minimalist single-seater running on battery power. The GreenPower challenge is a electric vehicle competition for British high school students that is in its tenth year. For the Corporate Challenge, company teams had the opportunity to take on the top 15 student teams from the regular GreenPower series.

The victorious Continental DC features a snug carbon fiber body that encloses a 240 W, 24V wheel chair motor and a pair of 12V lead acid batteries. The little racer has a top speed of 40mph. Maneuvering in a parking lot could be problematic with its 63ft turning circle. Of course with its 265lb mass you could just pick it up and turn it around. The team had some technical issues in the first part of the four race but persevered to win their award. They will go on to compete in the F24+ series this season.

[Source: Bentley]
Bentley Racing Green

28 April, 2008

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

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