The company is thrilled that European automakers will allow small companies to continue selling combustion engines and explains why that is actually better for the environment.
Dutch supercar manufacturer Donkervoort has thrown its support behind a specific exemption that exists in the European Parliament's latest decision on CO2 bans. Within the new legislature is an exemption for low-volume boutique automakers that produce fewer than 1,000 vehicles annually, and Donkervoort certainly qualifies since it has only sold just over 1,500 cars since its inception in 1978. The Dutch company explained how a forced switch to EVs would be worse for the environment and that its existing cars are almost as efficient as some hybrid supercars.
So why is Donkervoort so convinced that an outright ban on CO2 emissions would have been the wrong decision? Well, there are two basic reasons.
Donkervoort supports the decision "on both business and environmental grounds," with the latter a two-pronged argument. Obviously, the company's business would suffer if it was forced to invest in electrification too soon, but how is a combustion engine's prolonged existence good for the environment?
"We create art pieces that exist for 100 years or more, so they're not mass-production cars you throw away after 15 years," said managing director Denis Donkervoort. "We know this because more than 99% of the cars we've ever built are still drivable, and we know this because we still service them. On the mileages our cars do, a Donkervoort EV could never recover the extra sunk carbon emissions from the production of the battery alone, much less the rest of the car."
The automaker's boss added that compared to the emissions produced by the F22 supercar from material sourcing to the moment it hits the junkyard, "any theoretical on-road advantage a Donkervoort EV would have could not possibly deliver enough saved CO2 to catch up to the F22, let alone be better."
The automaker also mentioned that it "has a pre-planned path to electrification" that will only be embarked upon when the technology offers customers driving engagement and real-world environmental advantages. Donkervoort also unpacked the second reason it believes its supercars should live on with combustion engines.
"The weight of our car is so low [the F22 weighs less than a Miata] that an EV Donkervoort would be far more polluting than what we do now," said Mr. Donkervoort, adding that the supercar "fits the times in its emissions level," albeit sans hybridization.
"The Ferrari SF90 Stradale has phenomenal technology and required an enormous investment. It uses three electric motors but still emits nearly as much CO2. The answer to us is very simple: it's all about weight."
For reference, the F22 emits a WLTP-rated combined figure of 184 grams of CO2 per kilometer, while the SF90 in Fiorano spec produces 160g/km.
Donkervoort is preaching many of the sermons EV naysayers have evangelized: the impact of battery raw material mining, the cost of transition, and the fact that most buyers still seek a kind of engagement that EVs cannot provide.
We like the Dutch manufacturer's stance and wish that more automakers would double down on combustion, particularly if they produce negligible numbers of cars. If boutique automakers explore synthetic fuels, invest more heavily in refining and perfecting the combustion engine, and expand the scope of their sustainable component production with recycled materials and the like, we could someday reach a point where the net impact of a car's tailpipe emissions is zero or even negative.
We live in hope.
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