Despite the global shift towards electric vehicles and commitments by several governments to phase out internal combustion engines (ICE), luxury car manufacturer Ferrari has announced plans to continue producing vehicles with ICE technology into the late 2030s.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna defended the company’s decision, asserting that it would be “arrogant” to dictate consumer choice. The Italian auto giant faces a significant challenge, as the move towards electric cars threatens the sensory appeal of their traditional supercars, renowned for their distinctive eight or 12-cylinder roar.
However, Ferrari is not entirely turning its back on electric propulsion. The Maranello-based manufacturer is set to introduce its first electric supercar in 2025, which it promises will offer a “unique driving experience.”
Ferrari’s stance is in stark contrast to fellow supercar manufacturer McLaren. Their CEO recently stated at an FT automotive conference that electric technology was “not ready” for supercars due to the weight of batteries.
Ferrari has outlined a three-point approach to future vehicle development as part of its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030. This plan includes an increase in the proportion of hybrid and electric vehicles in its range by the end of the decade. However, the company also underscored its intention to continue developing ICEs, citing them as an “essential part of the company’s heritage.”
Until recently, Ferrari’s ICE strategy seemed to have a limited future, with multiple key markets planning to prohibit the sale of new ICE cars by 2035. However, a recent decision by the European Union to exempt cars running exclusively on synthetic ‘e-fuels’, produced using renewable energy, has offered a lifeline to performance car manufacturers.
Vigna referred to this decision as evidence of evolving technology and refuted the notion that continuing to develop ICEs would undermine Ferrari’s environmental efforts. He stressed the importance of customer choice in determining the type of propulsion – ICE, hybrid, or electric.
However, the EU’s “e-fuels” exemption is not universally recognized. In countries such as the U.K., where no such loophole exists, the availability of certain Ferrari models could be restricted. Regardless, Vigna expressed confidence in the company’s ability to navigate differing global regulations with their diverse propulsion offerings.
“We have to cope with the rules of all the countries we operate in,” Vigna told the BBC. “The reason we have three kinds of propulsion – ICE, hybrid and electric – is that it allows us to cope with any regulation, all over the world.”
This latest move by Ferrari illustrates the ongoing complexities and challenges in the auto industry’s transition towards sustainability, while also highlighting the unique pressures faced by luxury performance brands in retaining their distinct identities in a rapidly changing landscape.
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