Luxury brands are also becoming electric … but at a more moderate rate

The European Parliament had on 9 June adopted the end of the sale of thermal motor cars by 2035, a vote confirmed with some small adjustments this week by the environment ministers.

The same Parliament had also voted in favor of an amendment providing for a preferential arrangement for “small” manufacturers, spared the objectives of gradually reducing CO₂ emissions from their vehicles bearing general marks (BMW, Toyota, Volvo, Peugeot …), under punishment of a hefty fine.

This decision, especially supported by Italian MEPs, was described as the “Ferrari change”. It enables brands selling less than 10,000 cars a year in Europe to be exempted from CO 2 emissions efforts until 2036.

Employment is a concern

The same environment ministers have approved this sprain, which could allow Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini to avoid any fines. However, the average CO₂ reductions must be 55% of their total sales for each producer by 2030, according to the general rule of the European Commission’s Fit for 55 “plan.

The critics were logically fused in the light of this double-standard policy in favor of the brands whose vehicles are the most polluting and which, moreover, are reserved for a certain elite.

As is often the case, employment is no stranger to this approach. Luxury brands are in themselves major job providers. Ferrari is 4,500 people, for just over 11,000 vehicles sold worldwide in 2021. Lamborghini has around 1,800 employees for 8,405 sales last year.

If the attacks on this preferential regime are understandable, the luxury brands are nonetheless obliged to electrify their range at speeds often lower than the top speed of their cars.

Calendars are different

The calendar varies according to the brands of the arrival of a first 100% electric car in their range.

Lotus Eletre can already be booked with a deposit of 2,500 euros, with delivery scheduled for 2023. It is also 2023 for Maserati, 2024 for Alpine (Renault group), 2025 for Aston Martin and Ferrari or even in the second half of the decade for Lamborghini.

A first model in itself does not mean much. Benedetto Vigna, the new CEO of Ferrari, raised the bar a few days ago. “Fully electric and hybrid models are expected to account for 60% of production in 2026 and 80% in 2030. “, he announced. By 2026, 35% of the investment will be reserved for 100% electric vehicles.

Maserati (the Stellantis group) is much more ambitious: If the electric Gran Turismo is expected next year, the three-fork brand will quickly implement a whole range in this niche. Each model will have an electric version by 2025. Above all, the brand will be 100% electric by 2030. This will also be the case for Rolls-Royce (BMW Group) and Bentley (VW).

Bugatti lags behind

Only Bugatti has not yet revealed a schedule on this topic. However, the French brand is majority owned by the Croatian manufacturer Rimac, which produces electric sports cars, for 2.5 million euros for Nevera, marketed in Belgium by D’Ieteren. A straw compared to the € 9.5 million. Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly recently paid for a Bugatti Centodieci.

The fact is that in order to convince performance enthusiasts, these brands also need to adapt solid references. Lotus can reach 100 km / h in less than 3 seconds. That would be 1.5 seconds for the electric Bentley.

To achieve this you will need to feed the beast. Specter, the name of Rolls-Royce’s first electric model, would carry a 700 kilogram battery for an estimated weight of about 3 tons. Not enough, no doubt, to unite luxury cars with advocates for a more sustainable world.

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