Ferrari will continue to produce cars with internal combustion engines until the late 2030s, despite efforts by governments around the world to phase out the technology.
Company chief Benedetto Vigna said it would be “arrogant” to tell customers what to buy.
For Ferrari, as for many other premium brands, the switch to electric vehicles is a major marketing issue.
However, the company is expected to unveil its first electric supercar in 2025.
The roar of an eight or 12-cylinder internal combustion engine under the hood of Italian supercars has traditionally been part of the image of the car. Electric cars are much quieter.
Ferrari plans to launch its first all-electric model in two years, which the company says will offer owners a “unique driving experience”.
Meanwhile, the CEO of rival supercar maker McLaren told the FT car summit last week that the technology used in conventional electric vehicles was not ready for use in supercars – the batteries are too heavy .
Last year, as part of its commitment to become a carbon-neutral company by 2030, Ferrari unveiled plans for a new approach to developing new cars. By the end of the decade, electric and hybrid vehicles will make up a growing share of its lineup.
But the Italians will continue to develop internal combustion engines: the company believes this is “an important part of the Ferrari heritage”.
Until recently, such a strategy raised questions – more and more countries are preparing to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2035 or even before (the United Kingdom, for example, will stop to sell new cars with internal combustion engines from 2030).
However, in March the European Union agreed to make an exception to this ban for cars that run exclusively on synthetic fuels produced from renewable energy sources.
This way of saving their dear sports cars was invented and actively sought by Porsche. In December 2022, the company opened its first eFuel factory in the Chilean desert, which has 270 days of wind per year.
The e-fuel plant will use wind power to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then combined with carbon captured from the air or industrial sources to synthesize methanol, which in turn can be converted into a synthetic fuel that can be used instead of gasoline.
Since the carbon for fuel production is taken from the air, this offsets the emissions produced by burning it – the hydrocarbon balance converges.
While “green” fuel will not be cheap. However, supercar manufacturers will be able to continue selling gasoline-powered cars thanks to it.
In an interview with the BBC, Viña said the decision to continue developing ICE cars is a sign of technological progress. He believes that this will not damage the reputation of the company.
“I don’t want to be arrogant and impose a choice on our customers. It’s the customer who must choose what he needs: a combustion engine, a hybrid or electric car.”
However, in some other countries, including the UK, such a loophole for synthetic fuels does not yet exist. This means that certain Ferrari models may not be available in all countries.
“We have to comply with the rules of all the countries in which we operate,” Vigna said. “Because we have three types of power plants – internal combustion engines, hybrids and electric – we can comply with all the rules in the world.”