Harald Wester, boss of Maserati, says that electric cars are not the answer to emissions-related issues
20 April 2013

Maserati boss Harald Wester has described electrically powered cars as "nonsense", saying regulatory bodies need to take a more realistic approach to how they measure emissions before pushing through regulations that favour them.

Citing statistics that suggest average power station efficiency means the average electric car requires 86g of CO2 to be produced to travel a kilometre in Europe, 110g/km in the USA and 191g/km in China.

Wester said: "All this discussion about zero emissions is nonsense. Nobody talks about the efficiency of how the battery is charged. It varies strongly from region to region, depending on how the energy is produced, nuclear, coal and so on, but even the best is not ahead of the internal combustion engine."

He conceded that Maserati could be forced to develop a hybrid powertrain option to meet stringent emissions legislation, especially in the US, but said: "It looks like something we will have to, but the only reason to do it is to meet regulations. We don't see it as a significant business.

"Diesel and CNG are the more obvious answers if CO2 is the focus. Both are more viable answers than hybrid. If they gave us a CO2 target instead of imposing technology then we would go that way.

"If we want a realistic solution to emissions then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer."

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Comments
15

20 April 2013

At long last,some sense,thank you Mr Wester.

20 April 2013

.....he doesn't seem to have a good grasp of numbers.  If Maserati doesn't work out for him he could have a second career as a motoring journalist.

20 April 2013

Unless the electricty comes from renewables or nuclear that it. However electric vehicles still have a ceiling to their performance in cold weather, notwithstanding how battery design develops.

20 April 2013

In the long term Maserati could develop whatever power- train the legislators favour. He's just pointing out the short-comings of electric cars. A sort of automotive Emporers New Clothes.

20 April 2013

Problem with diesels are NoX emissions. So you gain reduced CO2 at the cost of increasing respirotary illnesses, among the city dvelling populace. And probably deathrates.

IMHO the most efficient solution at the moment are petrol hybrids. Being on the whole the least environmentally damaging.

20 April 2013

Given that many could equally apply the word "nonsense" to a number of the products his company has created, I think that may have been a poor choice of words. It's also somewhat daft to overlook the fact that at present only one car (the Smart diesel version) is capable of matching that European CO2 figure, and the fact that a large number of car manufacturers generate laboratory CO2 figures which bear limited resemblance to real-world emissions. I can see the point he's trying to make and I agree insofar as energy production fuel is the Achilles heel of electric motoring in terms of sustainability and environmental credentials. But hyperbole helps no one.

20 April 2013

Wester was the guy in the signal box for the Alfa Romeo trainwreck. Sniffing out car industry tips from this barmy old fart is like getting lessons on diplomacy from Kim Jong-un (though given Italy's predilection for putting barmy old farts in charge of everything, it should come as no surprise).

Also unsurprising is finding the same old drivel about how inefficient electricity generation is, with no mention of the inefficiency of extracting and refining oil, transporting it around the globe and storing it and dispensing it and then setting fire to it inside one thousand million cars. Nobody talks of the staggering ongoing cost of exploration to find the stuff in the first place, probably because it's more than the cost of all the things you can imagine put together. The bill for just making the Deepwater Horizon calamity go away exceeded $14 billion, and here we are scoffing at the idea that petroleum doesn't come cheap 'n clean.

No, virtually none of today's EVs will tempt many people away from standing in line next to the chewing gum at their local Texaco. But what's wrong with allowing manufacturers to develop them to a point that they might? We need something fresh and new for the next 100 years, not an extension of something old and smelly.

20 April 2013

... and the grapes are sour. Just because Maserati or its parent company Fiat has not yet developed a credible electric powertrain or hybrid...

21 April 2013

He's right......electric is nonsense. There range, charge time is pathetic ....totalally untenable.

22 April 2013

Matthew Langton wrote:

He's right......electric is nonsense. There range, charge time is pathetic ....totalally untenable.

gotta love how EV detractors take time to provide such robust arguments.

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