The majority of the automotive brands in Europe is beginning the full phasing in of electric vehicles (EV) by the start of the next decade, in preparation for full discontinuation of the internal combustion engine by 2035.
While it is relatively easy for mass-market automakers such as BMW (electric M brand), Mercedes-Benz (first electric Mercedes-AMG), Renault, Peugeot and Volkswagen to adhere to the policy as they have the demand volumes, smaller but ultra-niche supercar manufacturers still have emotional baggage attached to them.
We all love the noise and turn our heads to the melodic symphony of a Lamborghini or Ferrari engine being revved to the red line, or a short bark when the big engine fires up. It is a natural phenomenon of the internal combustion engine with multiple cylinders and the switch to clean electric drive will end it.
As such, the Italian government, realising the huge value these brands have, is in talks with the European Union to provide an exemption for supercar manufacturers to continue sales of internal combustion engines post 2035.
In a report by Drive.com.au that originally appeared in the Italian Bloomberg TV, Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingoloni said low volumes of niche, supercar-level vehicles produced in his country would have minimal impact on overall emissions when compared to the regular high volume automakers.
For a quick comparison, Porsche alone made close to 100,000 units of the compact Macan model last year, compared to a total of 9,100 units coming out of Ferrari and 7,400 units out of Lamborghini.
Ferrari has launched two electrified high-performance models (plug-in hybrid technology) to slowly transition the brand to fully electric. The most powerful hybrid Ferrari is the SF90 models with a total system output of 1,000 hp, while the recently-launched Ferrari 296 GTB has 830 hp.
During the company’s annual general meeting, the chairman of the company targets 2025 as the year the prancing horse will have its first fully electric car.
Lamborghini, under the ownership of Volkswagen Group, is only launching its first fully electric “bull” in 2030. The company’s only electrified powertrain is the V12 unit found in the limited-edition Sián (and recently revived Countach) that pairs a compact 34 hp motor to the venerable 6.5-litre V12 engine for a combined system output of 819 hp.
There is no comment yet from the European Union regarding Italy’s request. Looking at the implementation timeline that spans over a decade, there sure is plenty of time for all parties to deliberate on the matter.