Let's just say Sergio Marchionne and Elon Musk don't see eye to eye.
We’ve been hearing a lot lately regarding two particular Detroit automakers switching to electrified powertrains in the foreseeable future. That would, of course, be GM and Ford, but what about FCA? Turns out FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, who also just so happens to be CEO of a little Italian supercar company called Ferrari, remains unconvinced by EVs. In short, he doesn’t believe they’re capable of saving our fine planet, a view held by Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk.
Speaking to CNBC, Marchionne believes the environmental impact of electrics cars needs to be studied and analyzed further before ditching internal combustion altogether. His concern not only lies with the lack of an EV infrastructure, but also the origin of electrical power. “I think that if you don’t do the full analysis of what the origin of the electrical power is, where it comes from, how you get batteries into these cars, what he cost is in terms of C02 and the environment, I think the analysis that we are going to save the planet with electric cars is nonsense,” Marchionne said in his typical blunt style. “If the base of that electrical production is nuclear, then I have zero issue. We’ll all be doing the right thing.
“But you are embracing nuclear power as a solution to your problems. If you are relying on fossil fuels to produce it, I think the issue is much bigger.” Amen, brother. Amen. The US, for example, still relies on coal burning facilities for about 30 percent of its power, though this figure is expected to decrease in the coming years. Making a full-on switch to EVs from internal combustion resolves one problem but further exacerbates another existing one. Not smart. Yes, GM, Ford and certainly Tesla all have good intentions, but it appears as if Marchionne is the sole CEO of the four who has a realistic outlook, at least in the near term. On the bright side, no need to worry about Ferrari ditching internal combustion for full-on electric motors anytime soon.