Ferrari Looks at New Power Source for Carbon-Neutral Future

The Italian luxury sports car maker installs a solid oxide fuel cell plant at its Maranello facility.

During World War II, Ferrari’s  (RACE) – Get Ferrari N.V. Report factory in Maranello was bombed twice by the Allies.

The automaker recovered, however, rebuilt and renovated the facility and went on to produce its iconic sports cars.

Carbon Neutral

Ferrari is continuing to improve the Maranello facility by installing a 1 MW solid oxide fuel cell plant at the location as part of its goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2030.

Fuel cells, which were invented over a century ago, have been used in practically every NASA space mission since the 1960s. Solid oxide fuel cells have been cited for their high electrical efficiencies and low operating costs.

“Ferrari is working harder than ever to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, through the adoption of leading-edge technologies and of a scientific approach that are written in our DNA,” Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna said in a statement. 

The platform allows the choice of energy sources required to power the plant, such as hydrogen, natural gas, biomethane or a combination.

‘I’m proud of y’all Ferrari’

Compared with the previous system, Ferrari said, the new set-up reduces 99% of the pollution that causes the build-up of smog and particulate matter.

The announcement received mixed reviews on social media.

“Boring…. You’re Ferrari…. Act like it!” one person said on Twitter.

“Gotta agree, f–k emissions we want raw power!” another commenter said.

“I’m proud of y’all Ferrari,” another tweet read

“Respect,” read another.

The plant was built by the renewable energy company Bloom Energy  (BE) – Get Bloom Energy Corporation Class A Report, which said the project marks the San Jose, Calif.-based company’s entry into the European Union and Italy.

The company said its platform converts fuels such as hydrogen, biogas, or natural gas into clean electricity without combustion.

Bolster Energy Conservation

Bloom Energy Servers will initially provide 5% of the energy needed at Maranello, the company said, and are expected to cut gas requirements by around 20% from the combined heat and power (CHP) system now in use at Ferrari, while also reducing emissions.

“This will enable Ferrari to bolster energy conservation amid record-high energy prices, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality, with virtually zero harmful air pollutant emissions such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter,” Bloom Energy said in a statement.

Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development said the country plans to cover one-fifth of its energy demand from hydrogen by 2050.

Bloom Energy also has a relationship with SK ecoplant, an affiliate of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, which announced the completion of a fuel power cell plant earlier this month.

In October,  SK ecoplant expanded its partnership with US-based Bloom Energy by agreeing to purchase 500MW of power over the next three years, a revenue commitment of $4.5 billion.

The Hills of Maranello

Since the start of their strategic partnership three years ago, Bloom Energy and SK ecoplant have transacted nearly 200 MW of projects together totaling more than $1.8 billion of equipment and expected service revenue, Bloom Energy said.

SK ecoplant said it would invest $255 million in Bloom Energy by acquiring 10 million shares of zero coupon, non-voting redeemable convertible preferred stock at a price of $25.50 per share. 

Although it makes fast cars ,Ferrari has been slow to enter the electric vehicle market, even as rivals Lamborghini  (VLKAF) , Bentley and Aston Martin announce or tout their new electric supercars.

Ferrari said it expects full-electric cars will make up 5% of sales in 2025 and 40% in 2030. Gasoline/electric hybrids will account for 40% in 2030 with internal combustion engines making up the rest.

Ferrari said in February that its Purosangue SUV is set to launch by the end of 2022 with the first buyers set to start receiving their cars early next year.

“I’ve driven it several times in the hills of Maranello,” CEO Benedetto Vigna said during an earning call. “And I can testify that the driving experience is really astonishing.”

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