Ferrari and Tesla don't have much in common other than the fact they produce ridiculously fast vehicles – though they arrive at that result in very different ways.
Ferrari has pledged to have EVs make up 40 percent of its sales by 2030, which means Maranello may have a thing or two to learn from Tesla. Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna doesn't shy away from admitting that the Italian company founded in 1939 actually has a lot to learn from the 20-year-old EV startup.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Vigna complimented Tesla, crediting it with accelerating change within an automotive industry dominated by the internal combustion engine. Asked what Ferrari learned from Tesla, the executive said the big contribution that Tesla has made to the automotive industry was being "a wake-up call."
"Things used to happen too slowly. Tesla shook up the industry and accelerated processes and decisions. They were faster and more agile."
Vigna doesn't see Tesla as a rival, though, even though he says the Prancing Horse is on track to unveil its first all-electric vehicle in 2025 before bringing it to market in 2026. "For me, it's a functional car. It's meant to go from one point to another," he said when asked how he considers Tesla.
Gallery: Ferrari SF90 Spider
Ferrari, on the other hand, makes "emotional cars that give you a unique driving experience," Vigna noted.
One could argue that the long-overdue second-generation Tesla Roadster with its claimed explosive performance might be seen by some as a Ferrari competitor, but that's a premature assessment given that neither a Ferrari EV nor the Tesla Roadster are available.
Ferrari's CEO also dismissed claims that Ferrari has been slower when it comes to electrification than some competitors.
"That's not true. I just think a company like us can't impose any choice on clients, and that's why we'll keep offering a mix of technology for as long as it's feasible," Vigna said, with the mix meaning ICEs, hybrids and fully electric models. Ferrari currently builds two electrified models, the SF90 and 296 plug-in hybrids available in coupe and convertible body styles.
He noted that electrification is a new way for Ferrari to provide its customers a unique driving experience, adding that the company's EV powertrains will give customers "the same thrills of combustion engines." According to Vigna, the key is "how to extract the best emotion from the use of this technology, giving something unique to the clients."