Automobili Pininfarina ‘overwhelmed with positive response’ to luxury electric vehicles: CEO

Automobili Pininfarina CEO Per Svantesson takes sustainability and the environment seriously.

After many years working in the industry at Volvo and various parts suppliers, Svantesson left the business and started a couple of companies working on battery and fuel cell technology. Svantesson wanted to be at the forefront when the EV transformation arrived, though he wasn’t sure of the timing at the time.

Now, it’s driving that change at the pinnacle of the auto industry, namely the high-end ultra-luxury segment with the Battista GT hypercar. Each car is handcrafted in Italy by one of the revered design houses in the business, requires nearly 2,000 man hours, and is powered by four Rimac-sourced electric motors, each producing a staggering 1,900 horsepower.

And if you have to ask, each car costs more than $2 million.

But the eye-popping price tag isn’t deterring buyers of the otherworldly Battista, even in these uncertain times.

The Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar (credit: Automobili Pininfarina)

“We’re overwhelmed with the positive response we’ve had, it’s really fantastic,” Per Svantesson tells Yahoo Finance from a Pininfarina event for customers and dealers in Greenwich, Connecticut. “It’s really an experience to drive. The kind of powertrain that we have can do what no other car can really do, because when you have four motors, one at each wheel, completely independent of each other, controlled by a torque vectoring system that distributes the power, every millisecond recalculating the distribution… is a sensation”.

The feeling that Battista creates was almost on hold for some time. After the reveal of the design concept, COVID-19 hit and locked down most of Italy in early 2020. The company persevered through the tough times, and with the backing of Indian automotive and mobility giant Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M.NS), Pininfarina can now start US deliveries with two cars, one of which was on display here in Greenwich.

The Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar (credit: Automobili Pininfarina)

The Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar (credit: Automobili Pininfarina)

“So we were a little behind, but now we’re there,” says Svantesson. “First the pandemic and component shortages, and now the war in Ukraine is not helping. But we have found our way through that and, yes, our parent company, Mahindra, has helped us find what we need.”

What’s next for Pininfarina is the automaker’s latest creation, which is under wraps and the company is reluctant to discuss. While some assume Pininfarina may come after Mercedes and similar competitors in the premium EV segment, Svantesson said that would not be the case.

The Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar (credit: Automobili Pininfarina)

The Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar (credit: Automobili Pininfarina)

“We did some private showings in Pebble Beach where we invited some of our customers who have already bought the Battista, and some other potential partners and customers. We showed them the concept of the future,” said Svantesson. “We are going to stay at the top end of the luxury segment, we are not looking for volumes in any premium segment.”

Automobili Pininfarina bills itself as the world’s first “purely electric” luxury brand. Svantesson and the company see it not only as a performance calling card, but also as a way to show respect and responsibility for the company’s effect on the planet.

“You can’t create that kind of setup and that kind of driving experience with any other powertrain, but we’re also driven by sustainability, to reduce the footprint,” Svantesson said. “We want to be able to give people the opportunity to enjoy luxury without feeling guilty, without leaving a mark on the environment, that is what we are looking for: zero impact on the environment.”

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. you can follow him on Twitter and in Instagram.

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