It’s here. The sun has set on the time of the combustion engine. The Chevy Bolt-shaped meteor has come for the gasoline-powered dinosaurs. No mas. Fin. Kaput. Aufedesein. Pick your analogy and match it with a goodbye. Within our lifetimes (age depending of course) the role of gas-powered vehicles like a Ferrari will be dwindling oh so rapidly, as it has already begun to.
What will happen to my Ferrari?
Many an enthusiast is left wondering “What will happen to my V12 Ferrari that gets 12MPG?”. Well, life is a glass of water that’s supposed to be half full, isn’t it? You, Mr. Enthusiast, have been given Tesla-shaped lemons. So, make some damn lemonade. The dawn of the electric vehicle has done to the internal combustion engine what the car did to the horse. Once upon a time, the horse was a means of transport for the masses. If someone wanted to get somewhere in any reasonable amount of time, they used a horse. A century and a bit later, the car, and now; the electric car.
It’s time to talk about horses and by extension the gasoline engine. The horse went from mainstream transportation to hobby for two reasons, one which was discussed above. The other is slightly more complicated. When one thinks of horse ownership, they think of two types of people: the rancher and the wealthy. One uses the horse because it is necessary for his or her work. The other, because it is a luxury he or she can afford for one reason: land. The earth has become ever-more populated, with space at a premium. So, the only people using horses for leisure are the wealthy, just like a Ferrari.
Can enthusiast cars like Ferraris be saved?
Like the horse, the internal combustion engine will become a vehicle of leisure. Thankfully, it will not become some aspirational goal only the wealthy can achieve to own one for their pleasure. There are simply too damn many on the road. Cars, that is, not horses. Humanity simply does not have the developmental pace, funding, or know-how to replace every dinosaur-drinking machine with its brushless motor equivalent. Take that and add to it that the fact that electric vehicles won’t be affordable for the masses for quite some time; and it’s plain to see it’ll be impossible to completely phase out the gasoline-powered car in our lifetimes, which leaves enthusiasts in an interesting place.
This can go one of several ways, all of them purely speculative. Pretend for a moment that we can’t stop the big, bad corporations from stealing all the water and razing the Amazon. Now the human race really does have to step up and nip this polluting thing in the bud. Out goes your Ferrari. “Too wasteful.” says the faceless bureaucrat at your door. If this does happen, the car community is large enough to have some real legislative pull when it puts its mind to it. You may not be able to drive that Ferrari up Angeles Crest or take it to Cars and Coffee, but only because that Cars and Coffee will likely be held at a track instead. It’s hard to imagine the outright banning of gas-powered cars, and they could be relegated to designated places such as racetracks if we fail to stop polluting.
A glass half full of Ferraris
No matter what, there will be heavy regulation of petrol-powered cars to start, just as we have already seen. It remains to be seen how much tighter these regulations will get, but they’re here to stay for at least the next decade. After that is when things get interesting, assuming we as a civilization can stop corporations from stealing our water and killing our planet. Supposing we have, greenhouse emissions will tumble, presumably with the help of the electric car. Suddenly, the enthusiast and their trusty steed have some breathing room. Gas cars like your Ferrari will still be around, but the need to regulate them so harshly will fall, and that fall will give rise to the end of this ridiculous horse analogy.
So, with the BMW M3 grille-sized hole in the ozone finally under control, gas-powered cars will be just like horses, but far more affordable. You’ll be able to own that ridiculous, outdated, loud, smelly Ferrari. Yes, there will be fines to be paid, bureaucratic mouths to be fed. But your beloved prancing horse will be able to run free again, thanks to the one thing that killed it, the electric car.