Make no mistake about it: governments of developed countries around the world are crafting laws and rules that will see the demise of the internal combustion engine. Incidents such as dieselgate, urban air pollution, and climate change have pushed national and local governments to enact laws to ban cars with engines and shift to other forms of low or no emissions transport.
Italy is one of those governments that are working on such rules. As a member of the European Union, they generally have to abide by a proposed phase-out of new internal combustion cars by 2035 if the EU passes it into law. But it seems Italy is looking to opt-out of such a rule if it is passed, at least for two special cases.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the Italian government is in talks with the EU over the matter. The reason is that Italy wants to shield car manufacturers from that and allow them to keep manufacturing new cars with internal combustion engines when that proposed deadline comes into effect.
The interesting bit is that there are only two: one is headquartered in Maranello while the other is in Sant'Agata Bolognese.
Yes, they want to shield Ferrari and Lamborghini.
It may not seem significant given that both Ferrari and Lamborghini don't produce anywhere near the number of cars as major automakers like Fiat, but any automobile from those two companies isn't what we would consider being emissions-friendly. Supercars are symbols of gas-guzzling and emissions excess, and while supercar and sportscar manufacturers are looking at ways to cut emissions through hybrid technology, they have yet to introduce an all-electric vehicle.
That is essentially what the Italian government is driving at. Roberto Cingolani, the minister that heads up Italy's environment department, was interviewed by Bloomberg about how the 2035 ban would be applicable to “niche” automakers like Ferrari and Lamborghini. He said that they are discussing with the EU regarding the matter because these automakers need special technology and batteries for it.
Despite the fact that the Italian minister used to sit on the board of Ferrari (but resigned when he accepted his government post) the argument makes sense. The global shift to electrified (hybrid) and electric drive is putting a strain on battery suppliers to deliver new and higher capacity packs to automakers.
There are many more factors as the pandemic, the global semiconductor shortage, and the costs for low-volume manufacturers to shift to electric. Given what Ferrari and Lamborghini represent to Italy in terms of automotive pride and their economy, it's understandable that the government wants to give them the legislative protection they need.
While both Ferrari and Lamborghini are working on hybrids, they are perceived to be a bit behind when it comes to hopping onto the electric vehicle game. Neither automaker has a car on sale that doesn't have a gas tank until at least 2025; that is the year that Ferrari will supposedly release their first EV.