Ferrari will resist efforts by governments around the world to phase out internal combustion engines and will continue building ICE-powered cars into the late 2030s, its CEO said.
In a BBC interview, Ferrari boss Benedetto Vigna said it would be "arrogant" to dictate to customers what they can buy. While the company plans to launch its first electric supercar in 2025, promising a "unique driving experience," the move towards electric cars poses a marketing challenge.
The marque has been traditionally associated with the thundering sound of an eight- or 12-cylinder internal combustion engine, and Ferrari worries that going all-in on battery-powered vehicles, which are much quieter, will make it lose that appeal.
"I don't want to be arrogant and impose a choice on our client. It is the client who must choose if they want an ICE (internal combustion engine), a hybrid or an electric car," Benedetto Vigna said.
Last year, Ferrari announced plans for a three-pronged approach in developing new vehicles, as part of a commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The Italian company said last year that electric cars and hybrids would make up an increasing proportion of its lineup by the end of the decade: 40 percent BEVs, 40 percent hybrids, and 20 percent ICEs.
Gallery: Ferrari 296 GTB
That said, the Maranello-based firm stressed that it would also continue to develop internal combustion engines, which are "an essential part of the company's heritage". Many thought that Ferrari's strategy would apply only until the mid-2030s, when many major markets are expected to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines.
However, Ferrari has pressured the Italian government to lobby the European Union to seek an exemption from the ban on ICE vehicles for performance cars running on synthetic fuels produced using renewable energy.
Also supported by Germany at the request of Porsche, the exemption was voted by the EU in March. While e-fuels are expected to be expensive, the loophole will allow supercar makers to still sell models with internal combustion engines in the European Union.
However, other markets, including the UK, don't have such a loophole for e-fuels, and that means Ferrari's ICE vehicles may be banned in some countries. The company does not seem to be worried about that, though.
"The reason we have three kinds of propulsion – ICE, hybrid and electric – is that it allows us to cope with any regulation, all over the world," Ferrari's CEO said.