Earlier this year the European Union confirmed that it plans to axe the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035 across the whole continent, in a move it hopes will put it in good stead to meet future environmental targets.
The move seems to have been met with mixed reception among car manufacturers, some of which are further up the path of producing low-emission vehicles than others. And, it seems, the Italian Government is among those wanting a touch more leeway.
Italian minister for ecological transition recently noted that the Italian Government is seeking to make low-volume supercar firms like its own Ferrari and Lamborghini exempt from the rule.
“In the gigantic cars market there is a niche, and there are ongoing discussions with the EU Commission,” he told Bloomberg regarding the phase-out of ICE powertrains.
“Those cars need very special technology, and they need batteries for the transition. One important step is that Italy gets autonomous in producing high performance batteries and that is why we are now launching the giga-factory program to install in Italy a very large scale production facility for batteries.”
Apart from the inevitable line that petrolheads will do anything to protect their turf, there’s some logic behind setting up these kinds of protections. For one, the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini don’t have the economies of scale to make development of zero-emissions motors as financially viable.
It could also be argued that the emissions produced by the sales of new supercars and hypercars represents a tiny fraction of what’s sent into the atmosphere each year, given that so few are produced and so few are driven often. Between them, it’s been reported that Ferrari and Lamborghini sold a total of around 16,000 vehicles in 2020.