One of the most famous car brands in the world has committed to reducing its fuel consumption by 40% over the next five years. This would be very exciting, except that we're talking about Ferrari - a company which manufactures just 6,000 cars a year. A Ferrari is most assuredly a non-essential purchase... the carbon being saved by driving a 2012 Millechile over a 2007 Scaglietti will be negligible, especially considering the usage a typical Ferrari gets: not much. A person who wanted to reduce their impact on the environment wouldn't be buying a second (or fifteenth) car, let alone one with a conventional V12. Cradle to cradle - manufacture, shipping, storage, actually using it once a year, putting it in a museum someday - it's a major net loss for the environment.
We already know that electric vehicles can outperform Ferraris. So why get excited about it at all? Well, let's look at this from a couple different angles. First, stricter European emissions standards are impacting every car manufacturer with a stake on the continent - everyone is reducing emissions and fuel consumption, and that's a good thing. Now whether Ferrari is simply aiming to comply with regulations or is quixotically jumping on the green bandwagon is anyone's guess, but one thing's for sure: The cars are going to go just as fast as ever.
Amedeo Felisa, general manager of the Italian luxury sports car maker, said Ferrari wanted to reduce CO2 emissions from 400 grams per kilometer per vehicle to 280-300 [...] "We have to face the challenge of reducing consumption but not affecting the performance of the car," he said at the Reuters Auto Summit in Frankfurt. "Otherwise we move (away) from our position in the market and we do not want to do that."
Second, there must be demand for this sort of thing; i.e., the uber-wealthy are actually looking at mileage when shopping for luxury sports cars. Maybe their F1 pit crews are, too: Increased fuel efficiency would certainly help their racing efforts - Audi's Le Mans dominance in recent years is due in no small part to the number of pit stops they skip with their diesel racers - and lighter frames and bodies would have benefits in acceleration, cornering, tire longevity, and stopping distance.
Third, others will follow suit. A trend isn't far-reaching until it affects every market segment, and luxury sports cars have been holding out for a long time... up until very recently, people could be heard bragging about how much fuel their cars used. Now they're bragging about how long they can go between fill-ups... for the record, I average 625 miles (1000+ kilometers) in my diesel Jetta. Maybe Hummers will be the next to reduce their carbon output by 40% by increasing efficiency to... let's whip out the calculators here... a whopping 13.4 MPG. While we all hold our collective breath waiting for that to happen (I bet they go bankrupt first) let's consider riding around in a Ferrari Electric Vehichle!
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