It’s a wonder that we should expect low-volume exotic gasoline carmakers to make electric cars quickly. After all, they do one thing well, gasoline performance cars.
When we think of Ferrari, we think of beautiful fast red cars on the street and Formula One racing. Still, it’s hard to be Ferrari defending its title and reputation every year. So why should we expect it to embrace electric vehicles, EV overnight when it does one thing well, gasoline performance cars?
Ferrari and New Technology.
Historically, Ferrari rarely adopted new technologies quickly. It took a long time before it adopted independent front wheel suspensions, disk brakes, and mid-engines. It even took the better of part of a Formula 1 season for Ferrari to switch from a V12 to the new V10 architecture.
Until the last decade, Ferrari maintained there was no future in electric cars. In 2009, it discreetly applied for six hybrid drivetrain patents. Things looked like they might be changing after all. To put things into perspective, when Lucas di Montezemolo came onboard, he was tasked with bringing Ferrari up to financial health, something he has achieved well. Still, Ferrari is not a street performance carmaker first, it produces race cars, which it finances it by selling street exotics. The LaFerrari (http://carnewscafe.com/2013/08/alonso-drives-a-laferrari/)
costs over $1 million and only 499 will be made. Get it? Build less, sell for more, finance racing.
This year, no less than three gasoline performance makers are introducing hybrids and plug-in hybrid, PHEV. We can’t expect them to switch to electric vehicles completely. Disruptive technology takes place first with startups, then mass-produced car makers, and only then low volume exotic cars makers adopt the technology years later. The reason is simple, they are tooled for gasoline drivetrain production, not software, battery, and electric motors. We should expect even less from low volume exotic car makers, highly geared for performance gasoline cars.
There is nothing shocking about Lucas di Motezemolo saying on Bloomberg he sees no future with electric cars.
For more article on the LaFerrari, see Alonso drives a LaFerrari, and The First Hybrid Ferrari, LaFerrari.
The only competition Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren could have is the Rimac, if it happens. It is also very expensive, has a lot of horsepower, 1088 HP and delivers1,180 LB-ft of torque using a 92 kWh battery pack. This places it in Ferrari land, performance wise and would be great to see side by side with a LaFerrari. The only other real competition would be Mercedes-Benz’s amazing electric SLS.