Supercar maker Lamborghini is the latest automotive brand to outline how it will transition to greener vehicles in the future, vowing to electrify the current range of models by the end of 2024.
Returning boss Stephan Winkelmann has today announced that the iconic marque will invest €1.5billion (£1.3million) over the course of the next four years that will see all cars in its line-up switch to petrol-electric hybrid powertrains.
However, unlike rival Ferrari, Lamborghini has yet to rubber stamp when it will sell its first fully-electric vehicle – and has pledged to continue development and sales of its V12 engine until 2022, including the launch of two new models this year.
Lambo’s electric plan: The Italian car firm has today announced it will sell only hybrid cars from 2024 – though its first fully-electric model won’t come until the second half of this decade
Ferrari confirmed last month that it will unveil its first all-electric vehicle in 2025 as part of its transition away from the internal combustion engine.
Lamborghini will take a more cautious approach, setting a deadline of the ‘second part of the decade’ for when it will takes the covers off its initial EV model, according to the brand’s CEO.
In the meantime, it will shift its current model range – which includes the Huracan and Aventador sports cars and the Urus SUV – to hybrid powertrains starting from 2023, will all three cars sold exclusively as hybrids by the end of 2024.
By the beginning of 2025, Lamborghini hopes to have reduced the carbon outputs of its new vehicles by 50 per cent.
Mr Winkelmann added that the company’s huge investment in the move to electrification will also include the development of other technologies and increased use of lightweight carbon fibre materials to compensate for the weight gain of using on-board batteries.
The first fully-electric car coming after 2025 will be an all-new model, likely with four seats, the Lambo CEO hinted.
He added that it will be more sports cars than SUV, thought, adding that ‘in terms of the design, the sexier car is a two-door car’.
Returning CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, who left the company in 2016 but is now back at the helm, confirmed the Urus SUV (pictured) will be hybrid by the end of 2024
Lamborghini’s existing sports cars, the Huracan and Aventador (pictured) will also transition to hybrid powertrains by the end of 2024
In a statement released this morning, Winkelmann said: ‘Lamborghini’s electrification plan is a newly-plotted course, necessary in the context of a radically-changing world, where we want to make our contribution by continuing to reduce environmental impact through concrete projects.
‘Our response is a plan with a 360 degree approach, encompassing our products and our Sant’Agata Bolognese location, taking us towards a more sustainable future while always remaining faithful to our DNA.
‘Lamborghini has always been synonymous with preeminent technological expertise in building engines boasting extraordinary performance: this commitment will continue as an absolute priority of our innovation trajectory.
‘Today’s promise, supported by the largest investment plan in the brand’s history, reinforces our deep dedication to not only our customers, but also to our fans, our people and their families, as well as to the territory where the company was born in Emilia-Romagna and to Made in Italy excellence.’
The decision comes as governments around the world have begun proposing deadlines for the phasing out of new cars with petrol and diesel internal combustion engines in order to hit climate goals – with the UK among the earliest to ban them, from 2030 onwards.
Hybrids are expected to remain on sale until 2035, though only those that can be driven a ‘significant distance’ in electric-only mode.
Winkelmann said one of the top priorities for Lamborghini’s electrification was battery range for its high-performance vehicles of the future. On a technical level, lithium-ion batteries cannot operate for long at top speed on a track – a real issue for a car firm that sells outrageously fast motors
While mainstream brands such as Ford and Jaguar Land Rover have set out their phased switch to battery power, it’s a more difficult proposal for manufacturers of high-performance premium cars sold on their visceral sound, speed and handling.
Abandoning the internal combustion will, for makers such as Lamborghini, be both a technical and emotional challenge, with the brand with the rampaging bull for a logo famed for its roaring 12-cylinder powerplants.
Winkelmann confirmed it will continue to develop its petrol-powered offerings for at least the next 12 months by ‘presenting models paying tribute to the company’s recent period of continuous success’.
In 2021 to 2022, it will release versions that ‘pay homage to the brand’s glorious history and iconic products past and present’, with two new cars in the V12 models coming this year.
Having led and been the face of Lamborghini for more than a decade from 2005, Winkelmann left the company in 2016 to head up what is now parent-group Volkswagen’s Audi Sport division, adding Bugatti president to his portfolio in January 2018.
His return to the iconic brand – confirmed late last year – comes at a time when it faces significant hurdles.
On a technical level, lithium-ion batteries cannot operate for long at top speed on a track – a real issue for a car firm that sells outrageously fast motors.
‘We have to define what sportiness is in the new era, in the battery electric era,’ Winkelmann said on Tuesday.
He added that range is ‘the top priority’.
‘This is still something we have to work on,’ he said.
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