Ferrari has read the room. The Italian carmaker is finally admitting that electrification is where cars are heading — in its case, more like being dragged kicking and screaming. Nonetheless, Ferrari is now pushing its battery electric car release up by five years, according to a report from Bloomberg.
That means the Prancing Horse will adorn a fully electrified car by 2025, rather than 2030. This is a significant course correction for Ferrari who had been dismissive of EVs in the past. The Bloomberg report calls it reluctance.
I think that assessment is a little generous when you consider the remarks from Ferrari’s previous leadership. The carmaker’s last chief executive officer, Louis Camilleri, all but claimed that its customers didn’t want a fully electric Ferrari. I think that attitude had very much to do with not going against the image Ferrari wanted to project, which under Camilleri was all about a certain lifestyle.
The problem is that attitude relegated EVs to something less urgent and necessary than they really are. It reinforced the notion that the wealthy are above any crises we collectively face. As if the electrification of the auto industry is beneath supercar buyers.
It’s quite a pretentious notion and I’m happy that Ferrari’s current chairman, John Elkann, has addressed the importance of getting an all-electric Ferrari on the road sooner. Elkann spoke to Ferrari’s EV plans on an investor call during Ferrari’s annual general meeting, from the Bloomberg report.
Besides sharing the new projections for the electric Ferrari, Elkann also elaborated on why the company is embracing EVs:
We are continuing to execute our electrification strategy in a highly disciplined way.
Our interpretation and application of these technologies both in motorsport and in road cars is a huge opportunity to bring the uniqueness and passion of Ferrari to new generations.
That’s a more sensible approach, and possibly a more lucrative one, too. New generations being the giveaway. The Camilleri approach feels silly because it tethers the company to an aging demographic.
Just think of storied companies and their reluctance to change for the sake of what, brand integrity? OK, Camilleri. Go ahead and ask Harley-Davidson what brand integrity is worth. Even Harley has had to course correct, and it put itself on the path to electrification with the LiveWire.
And it’s not like Ferrari hasn’t done anything at all in this arena. Though, the effort Ferrari has put into electrification has yielded only the SF90 Stradale so far, which feels like a tepid entry into the EV segment with it’s whopping eight mile electric range. But it is a Ferrari, for what that’s worth.
So, let’s see more, Ferrari, but stick to red and yellow; I actually do mean that one. Whatever BEV Ferrari debuts in 2025, I hope it puts zero EV accents on the car.