The Drive for Alternatives is OnOne clear sign that the search for alternatives to oil has reached a fever pitch is when Ferrari, one of the world's most renowned sports car manufacturers, announces its intention to build vehicles powered by biofuels and electricity, as well as hybrid drivetrains. Ferrari, of course, isn't doing this out of the goodness of its heart: it has to meet more stringent European emissions standards, and the company has set a goal of reducing "CO2 emissions by 40 percent between now and 2012."
That the makers of high-end, performance vehicles are looking to alternatives to inefficient, polluting engines is not a new trend; Tesla has been getting tons of attention for its electric sports car and the Lexus LS600H is a 430 horsepower, Super Ultra Low Emission hybrid sedan good enough for the likes of Paul McCartney. What we're seeing, then, is that all automakers, from Ferrari to Ford to Toyota, are looking to get around the high cost and environmental/geopolitical stigma of oil. When asked if people would still buy hybrid or electric Ferraris, the company's CEO replied "yes, of course. It's the best sports car in the world. It's still fundamentally a Ferrari."
And while very few Ferraris are actually sold--reducing the direct impact of an increase in their efficiency--millions of people worship the iconic vehicles. If the object of their desire were powered by an innovative, elegant hybrid or electric motor, then all the better.
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