Ferrari joins electric cars race

Ferrari announced plans to challenge Tesla with a battery-powered supercar, at the recent Detroit Auto Show. Besides entering the luxury electric vehicles market, Ferrari will also produce an SUV.

In order to boost sales, Ferrari has been expanding its fleet, without losing brand exclusivity, while maintaining its super-fast roadsters and Italian design.

According to Ferrari’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, the race-car maker is excited to be designing the electric supercar.

Speaking at the Auto Show, Marchionne stated that, “if there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first.”

He also expressed his opinion of Tesla’s success and their supercar fans, concluding that other companies can compete.

People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: I’m not trying to minimise what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us.

Ferrari’s eco-friendly cars

By producing the battery-powered Ferrari, Marchionne would become Elon Musk’s direct rival. Ferrari’s electric supercar will challenge Tesla’s sales of the Roadster and the Model S, which were first to set the stage for the luxury electric vehicles, several years ago.

Ferrari was more focused on strengthening its brands and expanding its fleet after the spin-off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Even though it has ventured into partnerships with companies like Google’s autonomous vehicles extension, Waymo, its investments in electrification are incomparable to the amounts traditional car makers have been plowing in recently.

Considering the emerging competitive pressures, Ferrari will increase its focus on eco-friendly vehicles. Marchionne has stated that Ferrari will start producing electric cars “because it has to do it”. The company plans to release its future road map, initially involving hybrid cars, in the first half of the year. “Going from there to an electric” will be easy.

In addition to designing electric race-cars, Ferrari’s strategic goals will include a target of more than 10,000 car limit annual sales and doubling EBIT to $2.35 billion, by 2022.

We do it because we have to do it.

Changing positions towards new technologies

Ferrari’s position towards alternative engines and new technologies has been mired by scepticism in the past. However, the rapid emergence of electric vehicles and massive electrification of numerous car makers worldwide, has influenced the company’s shift to EVs.

Hence, according to Marchionne, fewer than half the cars sold will be fully combustion-powered, as gas and diesel give way to hybrid, electric and fuel cell drivetrains, by 2025. Ferrari’s CEO believes that it will take less than a decade for car makers to redefine their business.

Having only teased the introduction of the electric supercar, without other details, Ferrari provided a preliminary release date, prior to the new Tesla Roadster in 2020. Specifications about Ferrari’s new SUV are still lacking, as the company has only stated that it will “look like whatever a Ferrari utility vehicle needs to look like”.

Exciting electric race-car show

The market for electric vehicles has already seen several new electric supercars, such as Rimac’s Concept One and Genovation GXE. These companies are more comparable to Ferrari, due to their limited production, brand recognition and exclusivity. Nevertheless, upmarket companies like BMW and Porsche are also planning to release fully electric supercars in the future. BMW will make a purely-electric version of the i8 Roadster, while Porsche will release the Mission E in 2019.

Going forward, the niche segment of the electric vehicles market will be an amusing race-show for all supercars fans.

Snezana Sokolovska

Snezana has extensive international background and business media experience. She is covering e-mobility, autonomous vehicles and smart technology at Electric Think.

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