Published on December 1st, 2020 | by Tina Casey0
Automobili Pininfarina Drags Gasmobiles With New Battista Electric Vehicle
December 1st, 2020 by Tina Casey
Automobili Pininfarina is calling its new Battista hypercar “the most powerful Italian sports car ever produced,” and you can also take it on a pleasant drive along public roads without batting an eye. That should put an end to the electric vehicle question once and for all. It’s a sure sign that gasmobiles are losing the culture war when Pininfarina speaks with a 120 kWh battery, 4 motors, and 500 miles of range.
Automobil Pininfarina Dips Toe In Electric Vehicle Waters
Pininfarina teased the Battista hypercar about 18 months ago as its very first solely-badged car, signaling that it will lean on electric vehicle technology to win hearts and minds in the sparkling green auto market of the future. Pininfarina promised to deliver on a new vision of “zero emissions with extreme power” while “stylishly resolving the paradox of beauty and performance in a pure, elegant, and timeless Italian design.”
And how! Fast-forward to last night, and what should drop into the ol’ CleanTechnica mailbox but a press release picking apart the paradox into tiny bite-sized pieces of automotive deliciousness.
“The Automobili Pininfarina Battista is named after Battista ‘Pinn’ Farina, the founder of the Carrozzeria Pininfarina coachbuilding company, which he established in 1930,” Pininfarina enthuses. “The pure electric hyper GT is the realisation of Battista’s dream to see a car produced wearing the Pininfarina name.”
The electric vehicle cat is now out of the bag and you can get all the juicy details from Pininfarina, so for now let’s zero in on the company’s decision to engineer five distinct driving modes into the Battista hypercar (we’re guessing the first one is for picking up a carton of milk from ShopRite): Calma, Pura, Energica, Furiosa, and the most mysterious one of all, Carattere.
That’s where electric vehicle technology wins. Thanks to the four electric motors, Pininfarina was able to sharpen up the difference between driving modes.
“Advanced torque vectoring gives Automobil Pininfarina the ability to create more distinct characteristics between each driving mode than in a conventional ICE vehicle,” the company explains.
That’s a good thing. You don’t need accelerate from zero to 62 mph in less than two seconds on that trip to the grocery store, let alone hit a sprinting speed of 186 mph in less than 12 seconds, but if you do, you might as well jump on that top speed of 217 mph.
If you can’t wait to wrap your hands around the steering wheel of the new Automobili Pininfarina Battista, you must. The prototype car just completed a round of handling and speed tests at the Nardò Technical Center and there is still some fine tuning on the Pininfarina to-do list, so expect delivery some time in 2021.
The Rise Of The Electric Vehicle
Well, that should settle that. Of course, some folks still believe that the electric vehicle revolution will never happen, but they are getting fewer and farther between.
The real hurdle now is what to do about electric vehicle charging once millions of zero emission cars are on the road, including fleet vehicles as well as private autos.
That won’t be a problem in most communities, especially where home and workplace EV charging can supplement public charging stations.
The skyrocketing e-bike craze could also help take some of the heat off public EV charging stations, at least in urban and suburban settings. CleanTechnica will be road-testing at least three little pedal-assisted beauties in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for more on that (for those of you keeping score at home, we’ll be hopping aboard Harley-Davidson’s Serial 1, Civilized Cycles’s Model 1, and Rad Power Bikes’s RadMini Step-Through).
The open road is going to take some planning, though. With the rise of e-commerce, whole new waves of delivery trucks and long haul trucks are hitting the highways, and they will take a lot more time to recharge than your typical electric sedan.
In the truck area, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles could help ease some of the pressure on public EV charging stations. FCEVs are still struggling to get a foothold in the passenger car market, but truck makers are beginning to pivot into fuel cell territory, as the fueling and weight logistics are a good fit for long haul journeys.
More Green Power For Clean Cars
The fuel cell truck angle is an interesting twist considering the rivalry between battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicle fans, but perhaps there is room to coexist after all.
Speaking of coexisting, the rise of the green hydrogen market could also help accelerate battery electric vehicle adoption, by enabling communities to generate and store clean power locally, without incurring the expense of new transmission lines.
The Energy Department has a distributed wind power program that would fit right into that model. Various states, such as Maine and New Hampshire, are also looking at green hydrogen to power up underserved areas without the expense of new transmission lines.
An Electric Vehicle In Every Pot
Circling back around to that Battista over there, clearly there is plenty of room in the electric vehicle market for a showpiece, or two, or three. The real test, though, will come about when everyday electric vehicles compete with gasmobiles on cost.
A taste of the potential for cost parity drifted into the air all the way back in 2013, when Edmunds took note of the true cost of owning a Volt gas-electric hybrid (remember those?) over five years. Things have been going in the right direction ever since, and the drop-dead date for cost parity keeps edging closer.
Last week, our friends over at Wards Auto took a deep dive into the EV cost parity pool, taking note of a presentation by GM chief technology officer Matt Tsien at a virtual event hosted by the Society of Automotive Analysts.
As Tsien sees it, cost parity has already seeped into the luxury market, but it will take a while longer to trickle into other sectors, mainly due to the expense of the battery.
Improvements in energy storage technology can help move things along, and Tsien mentioned that lightweighting materials can make a difference, too.
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Photo: Battista Hypercar courtesy of Automobili Pininfarina.
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