Lamborghini has announced plans to produce only hybrid electric supercars by 2024, becoming the latest sports car producer to shift away from polluting internal combustion engines.
The Italian supercar company announced on Tuesday that it was investing €1.5bn (£1.3bn) in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.
The brand, which is owned by Volkswagen, said its current models – Huracan and Aventador sports cars and Urus sport utility vehicles will be hybrids by 2024, and it would launch a new all-electric model by the end of the decade.
Stephan Winkelmann, the Lamborghini president and chief executive, said the electrification plan would take the company “towards a more sustainable future while always remaining faithful to our DNA”.
He admitted that it could be a challenge to evoke the feel of a V12 engine in an electric car. “We have to define what sportiness is in the new era, in the battery electric era,” he said. “Range is the top priority. This is still something we have to work on.”
It is unclear what form the all-electric model will take, but Winkelmann said it was likely to be a four-seater. “In terms of the design, the sexier car is a two-door car,” he added.
“Lamborghini has always been synonymous with pre-eminent technological expertise in building engines boasting extraordinary performance: this commitment will continue as an absolute priority of our innovation trajectory,” Winkelmann said.
“Today’s promise, supported by the largest investment plan in the brand’s history, reinforces our deep dedication to not only our customers, but also to our fans, our people and their families, as well as to the territory where the company was born in Emilia-Romagna and to made in Italy excellence.”
The plans put Lamborghini behind its rival Ferrari, which has promised to launch an electric model by 2025.
Jaguar Land Rover, the UK-based carmaker owned by India’s Tata Motors, has said its luxury Jaguar brand cars would be electric-only by 2025 and it would abandon petrol vehicles entirely in the middle of the next decade.
Ford has promised that all of its cars on sale in Europe will be electric by 2030, and would invest $1bn (£704m) converting a vehicle assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, to become its first electric vehicle facility in Europe.
Governments around the world have begun proposing deadlines as early as 2030 for phasing out petrol-fuelled internal combustion vehicles in order to hit climate goals. The UK has announced a ban on the sale of new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel from 2030.
Norway, which relies heavily on oil and gas revenues, aims to become the world’s first country to end the sale of fossil-fuel-powered cars, setting a 2025 deadline. Fully electric vehicles make up about 60% of monthly sales in Norway.