Governments around the world are bowing to public pressure to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases their respective countries produce, and more often than not, the first sector they look at is the auto industry. Here in the U.S. the government has imposed a tough 34.1 mpg fleet-wide fuel economy standard for 2016, while in Europe the government wants to put a limit on CO2 levels--something that could have disastrous effects for niche players like Ferrari.
In fact, the changes have Ferrari so worried that engineers for both its F1 division and road cars are hard at work developing methods to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its engines. Some of the fruits of their labor have been the development of a hybrid prototype, investigation into biofuels, the employment of more fuel efficient dual clutch transmissions and the introduction of direct injection technology.
The result has been a cut in the automaker’s fleet average CO2 emissions, which have come in at 326 g/km for 2010, a reduction of 46 g/km on the previous year, according to the latest figures from JATO Dynamics in its yearly report into the European industry’s progress towards a 130 g/km fleet average.
This represents a 12 percent cut in CO2 for Ferrari, which is about half the total reduction mainsteam automakers are expected to achieve by 2015. More importantly, this smashes the puny 0.6 percent reduction achieved by Aston Martin, the 1.9 percent reduction made by Bentley and the 1.5 percent reduction managed by closest rival Lamborghini.
However, there’s a catch. Despite the efforts of Ferrari’s engineers, the automaker’s lineup isn’t suddenly a whole lot greener. Remember, the reduction targets are a fleet average figure calculated using a mix of sales of individual cars. This means that the biggest sellers have the biggest impact on the final numbers.
In Ferrari’s case, the automaker’s greenest model with a CO2 rating of 301 g/km, the California, accounted for 46 percent of its sales. This in turn helped Ferrari significantly in achieving the relatively ‘low’ fleet average CO2 figure of 326 g/km.
Nevertheless, it’s good to see even the most exclusive and luxurious brands do their part in order to reduce their impact on global CO2 levels.
[JATO Dynamics via Autocar]