Maserati Boss Says Electric Vehicles and Zero Emissions are “Nonsense”

5 years ago by Eric Loveday 12

Maserati Only Makes Gas Gulping Machines

Maserati Only Makes Gas Gulping Machines

Maserati CEO Harald Wester is one of those automotive bosses who don’t see electric vehicles as the answer to reducing the CO2s that pour out into the atmosphere.

As Wester says, regulatory bodies don’t really understand that the promise of zero emissions from electric vehicles is “nonsense.”

Maserati’s CEO cites data that suggests that in some parts of the world, electric vehicles “emit” more than conventional hybrids.  Wester says that, for example, the average electric vehicle requires 86 grams of CO2 to be produced to travel a kilometer in Europe, 110 g/km in the USA and 191 g/km in China.  Of course, Wester is referring to the CO2 emitting in making the electricity that charges an electric vehicle’s battery.

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“Nonsense” Says Wester

In the words of Wester:

“All this discussion about zero emissions is nonsense. Nobody talks about the efficiency of how the battery is charged. It varies strongly from region to region, depending on how the energy is produced, nuclear, coal and so on, but even the best is not ahead of the internal combustion engine. If we want a realistic solution to emissions then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer.”

Wester is obviously overlooking hydro, wind and solar energy production to present his stance in a more favorably way.

Maserati makes only gas-gulping automobiles today, but Wester concedes that will change in the future.  As Wester says, Maserati will be forced to develop hybrid technology:

“It looks like something we will have to, but the only reason to do it is to meet regulations. We don’t see it as a significant business.”

Again, like Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, Wester says CNG is a better solution than electric vehicle technology for reducing CO2 emissions and says that subsidizing EVs sort of forces automakers to focus on that technology, even though it’s “not the answer.”

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12 responses to "Maserati Boss Says Electric Vehicles and Zero Emissions are “Nonsense”"

  1. zilm says:

    Hurrah regulations!

  2. Josh says:

    It is funny that he makes the comparison of emissions of EVs to hybrids, since they do not build hybrids. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to compare emissions of his own cars to a Model S?

    A Quattroporte 4.7 V8 comes in at 365 g/km can anyone find an equivalent number for the Model S? I am having no luck.

  3. Cavaron says:

    Yeah… and like most conservative people do, Wester compares the CO2 of electricity from the plant with CO2 from already refined gasolin from the pump – hiding away the emissions from transport and refining that gasoline…

    They will end up like the dinosaurs their vehicles burn – in an evolutionary dead end.

  4. James says:

    The universe always drags people kicking and screaming into the future. 100 years from now it will seem silly that anyone would burn fossil fuel as a method of transportation, just like we can’t imagine riding a horse as a daily driver.

    1. Mark H says:

      I think you are right James. In a 100 years, the ICE is a relic. The current trajectory to the first US million EVs is still 5 or more years but the curve does not grow linear. By 2030 EVs will really start to take off. By 2050, they very well may be the majority. A little poetic justice that Wester will witness an EV kick his butt in every category while he brings a legend of a company down.

  5. Warren says:

    100 years from now it will seem outrageous for an individual to ride around alone, in a 3000 pound bungalow, at 70 mph.

  6. Driverguy01 says:

    why is this guy Maserati’s CEO and i’m just a busdriver??? That’s another proof that its not what you know, its who you know. What an idiot!

    1. Steven says:

      Sometimes it comes down to picking the right parents.

  7. Malcolm Scott says:

    I don’t get this CNG thing being the environmental answer. Energy independence – yes, but it’s not a saviour of the environment. How is it that these important influential people are dreamers?

    In Australia we have had OEM LPG vehicles and aftermarket LPG vehicles conversions for a long time. We have a nationwide LPG retail distribution network such that LPG is widely available.

    Some vehicles from Ford, Holden, and HSV manufactured in Australia have LPG options that include seamless dual fuel and dedicated LPG, using either liquid or vapour injection. Yes even raging V8s akin to the Chev SS, the equal in performance to a Maserati are on the showroom floor and running on LPG.

    In the real world, LPG provides little environmental benefit. Examples here from the Australian Green Vehicle Guide (excluding non-road CO2 Emissions):

    LPG
    Holden VE Commodore Berlina LPG, 3.6L 6cyl, Auto 6 speed, 189 g/km CO2
    Petrol
    Holden VE SIDI Commodore Berlina 3.0L 6cyl, Auto 6 speed, 210 g/km CO2

    LPG six cyl
    Ford FG Mk II Falcon XT, 4.0L 6cyl, Auto 6 speed, 199 g/km CO2
    Petrol six cyl
    Ford FG Falcon XT, 4.0L 6cyl, Auto 6 speed, 236 g/km CO2
    Petrol 4 cyl Turbo
    Ford FG Mk II Falcon XT, 2.0L 4cyl (T), Auto 6 speed, 192 g/km CO2

    Note: the engine downsizing for the Ford Falcon achieves more than the LPG approach.

    (http://www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au/GVGPublicUI/Home.aspx )

    From http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/natural_gas_emissions.html

    “In 2007, a study for the California Energy Commission (CEC) found that both CNG and LNG reduce life cycle GHG emissions in both light- and heavy-duty vehicles compared to their gasoline and diesel counterparts.”

    and

    “Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model estimates the life cycle petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of light-duty vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Based on this model, natural gas emits approximately 6% to 11% lower levels of GHGs than gasoline throughout the fuel life cycle.”

    Whilst there is some environmental benefit through using CNG/LNG, it’s hardly worth the effort.

    CNG/LNG for automotive use is definitely not a pathway to saving our environment and a good life for all people.

    1. Mark H says:

      CNG/LNG is something they can control Malcolm. They see the writing on the wall to energy independence with the EV. Thanks for all your post from Australia. It has been a number of years since I worked with the Ford lads on the Falcon at your Geelong facilities. Good mates down there.

  8. levi says:

    All these RELICS (ICE) companies don’t want EV’s to succeed because
    1) they make money from the Combustion Engine- components/ repairs. Without that revenue licensing deals they will die. That’s where they have warranties etc BS… to get you to pay more
    2) They don’t have any Intellectual property(IP) technology for EV’s like Tesla…they are caught Flat-footed. With minimal maintenance of EV’s, their businesses SUFFERS IMMENSELY.
    They haven’t developed or conceived the support structure for evs , so they hope EV’s die or at least it will b another CEO’s problem.

  9. kdawg says:

    Sounds like another CEO of a company that is behind the technology curve. It appears he’s only at step 1 or 2 or possibly 3 of the grieving cycle.

    1. Denial – (EV’s are going no where)
    2. Anger – (What’s up with this EV non-sense!?)
    3. Bargaining – (EV’s may be starting to catch on, but they pollute more than ICE’s)
    4. Depression – (Why didn’t I produce an EV?)
    5. Acceptance – (Time to make EV! I always said they were the cats meow.)