It’s t-minus 14 years and counting until the EU’s 2035 gas engine ban. But if Italy has its way, those with enough money may still be able to get their brand new petrol-powered kicks. Bloomberg reports that the Italian government is looking for ways to exempt supercar brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini from the ban.
Italy’s minister for ecological transition Roberto Cingolani said that Prime Minster Mario Draghi is in talks with the EU concerning the 2035 ban and how it will affect the country’s leading supercar makers. And just how does the Italian government think they can convince the EU that these automakers shouldn’t have to follow the ban? They’re playing the niche card.
While Rome backs Europe’s commitment to cut emissions by phasing out the most-polluting engines, the supercar sector “is a niche, and there are ongoing discussions with the EU Commission” on how the new rules would apply to high-end carmakers who sell far fewer vehicles than mainstream producers, Cingolani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy.
Cingolani also argued that the supercars require time and technology for the transition to EV’s, something that the country isn’t yet ready to produce batteries for. “One important step is that Italy gains autonomy in producing high-performance batteries,” he says.
It should also be noted that Cingolani was a non-executive member on Ferraris board of directors so he has some insider knowledge of what he’s saying. He pointed to the fact Ferrari and Lamborghini simply don’t sell enough vehicles for an exemption from them to make much difference (For the six months ending in June of this year, Ferrari reported just 5,456 sales for instance). He was quick to reiterate though that wanting an exemption for the brands doesn’t mean that the country isn’t on board with EVs. “There is a clear awareness about the need for a transition toward electric mobility,” says Cingolani.
There is some outside support for exempting the brands, like European Automobile Manufacturers Association President Oliver Zipse.
For very small manufacturers, who in the bigger picture of overall emissions play almost no role, there are good arguments for considering these exemptions.
It probably wouldn’t be very good optics for the EU if it made an emissions exemption specifically for the wealthy. You have to drive electric unless you can afford a quarter million dollar car. That hardly seems fair.