Italy wants Ferrari and Lamborghini to be excluded from the ban on internal combustion enginesby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 04:15
The European Union’s comprehensive ban on combustion engines is set to go into force in 2035, but the Italian government is hoping for an exception for supercar makers. Italy is trying to negotiate with the European Union and is seeking to protect supercar makers like Ferrari and Lamborghini from the planned phase-out of combustion engine vehicles altogether. According to a Bloomberg post, Italy wants to shield Ferrari and Lamborghini from this potential European Union ban on gas-powered engines.
While the Italian government is in acknowledges and fully supports the EU’s commitment to reducing emissions by phasing out combustion engines in the car market, there remains a niche, and there are ongoing discussions with the EU Commission on how exactly will these new rules apply to high-end automakers that sell far fewer vehicles when compared to mainstream manufacturers.
This timescale is especially difficult for luxury automobile manufacturers that develop vehicles with strong engines that emit above-average levels of pollution. These automakers’ sales are substantially smaller, limiting the economies of scale that can be realized by changing production plants.
The exemption was conceived since it is significantly more difficult for top-tier nameplates to transition to electric powertrains while remaining profitable. High-end automakers in Italy often sell significantly fewer vehicles than mainstream competitors.
Overall the Raging Bull and Prancing Horse combined to build a mere 16,500 vehicles last year.
The purebred Italian stallions are also now trying to necessitate a far more comprehensive approach to electrification.
"Those cars need very special technology and they need batteries for the transition. One important step is for Italy to become self-sufficient in producing high-performance batteries, which is why we are now launching the giga-factory program to build a large-scale battery production facility in Italy.” - Roberto Cingolani, minister for ecological transit, in Italy
It’s worth mentioning that both Italian supercar brands are already working toward a greener future. Both Ferrari and Lamborghini have gradually embraced electrification, but only in the form of hybrid powertrains for production vehicles for now. After much deliberation, Ferrari finally appears to be committed to at least one Electric Vehicle.
Ferrari announced in April that its first electric vehicle, likely to be a crossover, will be unveiled in 2025. In addition, hybrid powertrains are being added to more vehicles by the automaker. Benedetto Vigna, who took over as CEO of Ferrari on September 1, said that charting a course for the company in the dying days of the internal combustion engine will be one of his top goals.
Lamborghini just revealed a $1.8 billion electrification initiative that aims to cut CO2 emissions in half by the middle of the decade. It also plans to release its first electric vehicle (EV) by 2030.
Also, at Lamborghini, the Aventador replacement, anticipated in 2023, is projected to be a hybrid, putting an end to the company’s run of non-electric V-12 Lamborghini supercars. Lamborghini has not made any clear plans for an electric vehicle.
It should be noted that these emissions rules have not yet been approved. According to Bloomberg, they must first be debated by member nations and the European Parliament, a process that may take up to two years. While the EU is still debating the 2035 combustion engine ban, it is expected that a number of nations will follow Italy’s lead and submit adjustments to protect local sectors and manufacturers.
If allowed, the exception would facilitate, select low-volume Italian marques to continue producing vehicles with combustion engines until the deadline while putting in place the necessary infrastructure for battery-powered supercars.