An object for the rich: will the electric car remain this?

Dacia Spring is today the cheapest electric: The price list starts at 20 thousand euros.

An object for the rich: will the electric car remain this? The President of the Caponnetto Foundation, Salvatore Calleri, asks us with a polite intervention.

from Salvatore Calleri

“Carissimo director Tedeschini, I’ve been following her since she joined Four wheels, and I respect her very much. I want to talk about the issue of electric cars, come on pros and cons. I declare that by culture I am a 360 degree enthusiast of the four wheels and that I am not a fundamentalist.

an object for the rich
“I could buy a Porsche Taycan …”.

An object for the rich? The case of cities like Florence

If I had money, I would definitely have one in the garage Porsche Taycan, beautiful as hell regardless of its autonomy. That said, however, I would like to reflect on the convenience of electric cars. I have no doubt about the maintenance costs, which are convenient, and about the fact that they end up polluting less, even if they are not too much. But the situation will improve in the near future. On the contrary for those who live in one cities like Florence electric cars are almost exclusively for the rich. Unless you live next to charging stations and manage to organize yourself well. I try to explain why, from my point of view, it is not the truth that is clear, but only an argued opinion. The optimal solution for those who have an electric car lies inhas a garage. A garage in Florence costs around 50 / 100,000 euros depending on the area. Therefore, a significant outlay is added to the higher cost (without incentives) of an electric.

“The car can not only be reserved for the privileged”

In addition to this doubt, I add another based on autonomy from fast recharge. I do not deny that if one is well organized, one can definitely go to the end of the world with an electric. But if you need to use the theoretical average autonomy of a high range often on the highway from 400 kmcrashes 20%. And if you make bets at 130 km / h go down max at 250 km from the second recharge onwards of autonomy. Few. Problems that will surely be overcome soon, apart from those of wealth. My fear as an all-round enthusiast is that the car to which man owes his freedom will once again be a remedy for a few that the middle class cannot afford. I hope I have not offended anyone yes-watt or no-watt and I sincerely thank you for the beautiful online magazine that I read every day.

an object for the rich
The old and new Renault 5: the original from 1972 and the electric model arriving in 2024, with prices close to those of petrol cars.

An object for the rich? We work to ensure that this is not the case

Mauro Tedeschini answers. First of all, thank you for the compliments, so much the more welcome if they come from the chairman of the foundation dedicated to a great judge like Antonino Caponnetto. I get to the heart of the matter: the electric car it must be for everyone we have supported it since this portal was born. Today it is not. Who has salary from 1,500-2,000 euros he can not afford cars that cost at least 20,000. Even if part of that amount falls in the form of lower maintenance costs. So now increases in electricity prices they complicate things even more. But luckily the game does not end there: Research makes us make huge progress, and the batteries from year to year have lower costs and higher yields. The autonomy of cars from 2017 to today, it has practically doubled to the same price. But it is still not enough: more needs to be done. Great builders like Volkswagen and especially Renault argue that in 2025 we will reach a break-even in the price between electricity and petrol. And then with the new ones solid state batterieselectric cars will cost even less.

an object for the rich
500e: in 2021 in a 6th place among the best-selling electric in Europe.

Italy will be home to small electric cars, for all budgets

And here we come to the part where we talk about the middle ground Italy can play, if only it had an industrial policy. In recent years, manufacturers have circumvented the obstacle caused by the impact of the price of batteries by launching almost exclusively advanced models, mostly Suv. A type of vehicle that is anything but sustainable, but where it is easier to “dilute” the price of the cells. The city cars, the ones that the general public who are dear to all of us buy, are very few: Renault Group 500, Smart, Twingo and Spring and a little something else. The reason? Today, one does not make money with these cars, which would be the ones our cities need, drowned not only by pollution but also by congestion. But history teaches that the great builders are able to return equations that seem impossible. As early as the 1950s, it was said that it was absurd to think of building the famous little cars. But Fiat with an ingenious designer like Dante Giacosa proved that it could be done. And with 500 and 600 it laid the foundation for our economic boom.

an object for the rich
Fiat 120, an ocncpet that anticipates the lines of the electric Panda?

The 500 is a bit pricey, you need a new Panda that is only electric

Our hope is in a nutshell that in Stellantis Group, Fiat and Italy have a good place to do what they have always known how to do: small cars. Which at the moment does not seem to interest anyone, in a world that loves SUVs and that instead has a great future. 500e, from this point of view it is only half an answer. It’s a great car, but the prices are high and certainly not for everyone. We may be missing a cheaper model a new Panda based on the famous concept One hundred and twenty which aroused so much interest three years ago at the Geneva Motor Show. As for our government, it could reconcile this “small strategy” with industrial policy measures and with better calibrated incentives. Limitation of purchase bonuses for cars that do not cost more than a certain amount: today 30 thousand euros, and then go down with the fall in electricity prices. And who wants more expensive cars, also electric. you pay them out of your own pocket.

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