According to Automotive News Europe, luxury carmaker Maserati will launch its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at the Beijing auto show in April. The hybrid Ghibli will be the first from Fiat’s Chrysler’s high-end marque to include any sort of electrification and is expected to open the floodgates, with fully electric Maseratis to follow hot on its heels.
An EV strategy is key for growth — Maserati’s sales have flagged in China and in Europe because both regions are clamping down on emissions and offering attractive subsidies on EVs and PHEVs. Would-be hybrid Ghibli owners in China would be able to take advantage of the same sorts of subsidies enjoyed by Tesla buyers there.
The Chinese market’s appetite for Teslas is proving insatiable, helping making the American car company the first to cross the $100 billion valuation threshold. Fiat Chrysler, unsurprisingly, wants in on some of that action.
Full-blown Maserati EVs will follow — Last September, the Italian metal-bender confirmed it plans to produce 10 new and updated models between now and 2023, including an entirely new fully-electric supercar and a new SUV, along with EV versions of its iconic GranTurismo and GranCabrio.
As we saw at CES, and as Tesla keeps reminding legacy vehicle makers and short sellers alike, the future of motoring is inescapably electric. Those who procrastinate in bringing their electric offerings to market are going to have some serious catching up to do.