Currently reading: Maserati looks to slower charging for lighter sports EVs
Italian firm's EV boss says that fast-charging tech adds weight and cost, and that attitudes are shifting

Maserati is investigating removing fast-charging technology from its electric sports cars in order to save weight, even if it means charging the cars takes substantially longer.

Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Maserati’s global head of e-mobility, Ana Paola Reginatto, highlighted the contradiction of cars spending 60-70% of their time stationary on average and the desire to always charge them as fast as possible.

Instead, she proposed a solution of using slower AC chargers in order to enjoy the knock-on benefits of weight and cost savings, although she concedes that the current desire - however irrational - for fast charging times may preclude such a move.

“Today, we buy a car based on the range it might need once a year when we go on a long drive, and the space we might need in it once a year, when we pack for our holidays, for instance,” said Reginatto. “But that attitude towards excessive consumption - or at least buying the most we will ever need - is shifting.

“Think of the weight of an on-board charger: 40kg! We spend millions trying to engineer 40kg out of a car, so if we can shift attitudes towards slower charging, there are huge potential benefits. But we are not there yet, and that’s why we have to be flexible but ready.”

Reginatto, who was also part of the launch team for the original Nissan Leaf as well as working for four-wheeled scooter start-up Qooder, conceded that her weight-saving proposal may not meet universal customer appeal and stressed it was an idea that was being floated rather than part of any product plan.

“Today, I am working with my team looking out to 2032,” she said. “Sure, there are different depths of detail - we know a lot more about 2023 than 2032, I’m pleased to say - but it’s important to consult and plan, even with a fluidity to the possible situations. The key to success is going to be being flexible to the opportunities that emerge. There can be no fixed plan when so much is open to change.”

Reginatto also believes Maserati will have a harder job marketing its new era of electric cars than engineering them. She said: “It’s easier - but not easy - to deliver high-performing electric vehicles than it is combustion-engined ones. Our Maserati Granturismo Folgore will arrive with 760hp and a 0-62mph time of 2.7sec, for instance.

“But that performance is a basic expectation of a Maserati buyer. What’s critical is combining it with luxury, and in the case of the Maserati Grecale SUV, using it to form a vehicle that is in some ways exceptional to drive every single day. We need to get that message across.

“On average, we expect 60% of our customers for our electric models to be completely new to the Maserati brand. We are opening up new opportunities, and we have to be flexible about ensuring that they understand the brand, and that the cars deliver on the brand values that our heritage demands.”

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xxxx 4 January 2023

40kg, if it is indeed that much, would be around 2 percentage of the total weight, emmm I think I'd rather have a fast charger in a 90k car.