Countries as India, France, Britain, Norway and China already took decisions to strongly limit the sale of gas cars and even implemented a deadline, when they will not be allowed anymore. It can be expected that other countries will follow these examples.
Officially, Ferrari has not announced yet the development of a fully electric car (the LaFerrari is hybrid), but as important markets will require vehicles with alternative engines and there is no sign that sports cars would be excluded, it seems that such a step is only a question of time.
Ferrari’s problem is that car gets esteemed by its complete appearance, which is including performance, design, but also the mechanical master work of its engine and the sound what it is creating. Due to Enzo his company only engineered once a twelve cylinder engine, this was in 1947 the famous 1.5 Colombo-engine, which got used the same year in the Ferrari 125. This was the revolution, after this the company never developed a complete new V12, but created different variations from this original engine. As an electric engine has no comparable sound, a Ferrari key-element would be missing, as Austrian conductor Hermann von Karajan compared once the unique sound of the Ferrari V12 with his orchestra.
Creating a pure electric car would be a clear challenge for the company, as the Ferrari key-elements “tradition” and “sound” would be missing. But as Enzo as person preferred looking into the future rather than back, it would follow the tradition, even if it meant breaking with parts of it. At least the company’s long time competitor already announced a full electric car for 2020. Due to Porsche, all-wheel drive and two electric motors could power such a car equivalent to 600hp.
Not done by the company itself, but the Californian company Electric GT, specialized in engineering, design, and conversions of existing road cards to electric ones, took an 80’s Ferrari 308 GTS with an irreparable engine and replaced it with an electric drive, comparable to 415HP. This new creation now is called 308 GTE. The car has a Ferrari like performance, but the typical engine sound is missing.
Will the future have demand for electric Ferraris? This strongly depends on the technical infrastructure and, of course, how emotional positive electric race cars would get perceived by the target group. The company is not only known by the sound of its engines, but since the beginning Enzo Ferrari’s philosophy was to build “the fastest car of all”. To achieve that the company took fundamental decisions, as:
- The development of a V8- and V6-engine,
- the change from front- to mid-engine constructions, and later switch back from mid to front or
- the development of sophisticated aerodynamics
A successful electric Ferrari has to be grounded by the company’s history. Besides Enzo’s philosophy there is one potential processor: the 1970 Ferrari Modulo. Even if this show car was powered by a traditional V12-engine, its futuristic designs practically asks for a clean and silent electric drive. Its designer Paolo Martin used an alternative draft for the Modulo to adapt it to the chassis of the 2002 Ferrari Enzo. No question, that the Modulo has not lost anything from its fascinating and would be the ideal inspiration for Ferrari’s first official electric super-car.
- Autoblog.com (2016): “This electric Ferrari 308 GTE would do Magnum PI proud”
- Henz, Patrick (2017): “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari”
- Petroff, Alanna (2017): “These countries want to ditch gas and diesel cars”
- Thompson, Cadie (2016): “Here’s the stunning electric car Porsche is making to take on Tesla”