Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri says the Prancing Horse's range wouldn't be 50 percent electric vehicles anytime soon. "Certainly not in my lifetime" was the way he expressed the chances during the brand's third-quarter 2020 earnings conference call.
Ferrari's EV future came up during the question-and-answer session during the call. Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley inquired whether switching fully to EVs would result in less complex vehicles that would also be less expensive to produce. "Could this create a very large cost efficiency opportunity for Ferrari while still providing your customers with the highest performance experience that they would expect from a Ferrari," he asked.
Gallery: 2020 Ferrari SF90 Stradale: First Drive
Camilleri said the situation wasn't nearly as simple as Jonas thought. Ferrari would never take a bunch of off-the-shelf EV components, cram them into a vehicle with the Prancing Horse on the front, and send it into showrooms. Engineering an electric model that's worthy of the prestigious badge would require creating a very complex and special powertrain.
Jonas followed up by asking about the challenge of creating an electric Ferrari that makes a sound suitable for one of the brand's machines. Camilleri replied: "That's one element that we are working on, obviously, for competitive reasons. I'm not going to give you the details, but that's something that we are quite comfortable that we can achieve." The CEO also said that the company has "done a lot of work" on the noise of EVs.
While Ferrari doesn't have an issue with creating hybrids like the SF90 Stradale, the company is being careful about moving into full EVs. In an earlier interview, chief marketing and commercial officer Enrico Galliera suggested that battery tech hasn't become mature enough yet for the brand to feel comfortable building an electric vehicle.
Ferrari has good reason being conservative about moving into the EV market because people are still very interested in its combustion-powered products. In the Q3 earnings call, the company indicated that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization were up 6.4 percent over the previous year. This came despite total deliveries dropping 161 units to 2,313 vehicles in a year amid the COVID-19 outbreak.