No one said you had to be a good fortune teller to run a car company. The latest executive in the automobile industry to indicate that he’s on the wrong side of the electric revolution is Maserati CEO, Alfa Romeo CEO, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CTO Harald Wester.
It’s not the biggest surprise to find out that Harald is in Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne’s camp, especially given that Harald probably “advises” Sergio on this matter, but it’s still pretty damn depressingly funny some of the responses Harald gave in a recent interview with Motor Trend. The nice thing about the interview was some of the responses from Motor Trend‘s Scott Evans. Motor Trend has had no problem gushing of the spectacdangulous Model S, including the paradigm-shattering P85D, and putting it on epic lists. And I think Scott wasn’t eager to hear the nonsense coming out of Harald’s mouth at times in the interview, even if he did use the words “warm and approachable” to describe the CEO at the beginning of his interview.
The interview was focused on Maserati, and here were some of the absurdities that came with that:
MT: But you do see the hybrid as the solution?
HW: Intermediate, yes. The distant future is fuel cell.
MT: Over batteries?
HW: Absolutely. What the hell do you want with 400 kilos (882 pounds) of battery driving around? No.
MT: But then you need hydrogen refueling stations.
HW: Not yet, no.
MT: And there are electrical outlets everywhere.
HW: “Everywhere” is not true.
HW: And don’t forget, on this planet we are still producing between two-thirds and 70 percent of the electric energy with CO2-emitting, non-regenerative fuels. The growth in energy demand just for growth of the population, the growth of the emerging countries, is enormous.
MT: But we also need electricity to harness hydrogen and pressurize it and transport it.
I love the way Scott responded to some of those absurd answers. “Semantics.” Haha, indeed. “But then you need hydrogen refueling stations.” Er, yeah, never mind about those stupid FCEVs. “But we also need electricity to harness hydrogen and pressurize it and transport it.” Er, yeah, never mind about those stupid FCEVs, which are actually dirtier than conventional hybrids.
There were a number of other humorously absurd comments in there from Harald, such as this one when talking about autonomous cars and Maserati’s lack of leadership on that front, too: “I still have difficulties to imagine myself sitting in my car behind my steering wheel and reading a newspaper. Can you imagine? It will be a generational change — our children, or the children of our children.” Ah, Harald, Harald — a newspaper? You are from another generation, aren’t you? Maybe if you were reading Gas2 or CleanTechnica you’d be doing something a little more interesting with the wonderful Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.
My criticisms of Harald and his lame answers aside, I do love me the looks of a Maserati (and an Alfa Romeo). They are some of the most beautiful cars on earth, imho. Too bad there isn’t a deep, inner, electric beauty to match them.
Image by phalenebdlv (some rights reserved)