Maserati is targeting 2020 for a production EV

The electric vehicle bandwagon has long left the station thanks to Tesla, but Maserati still wants to get on board. The high-end carmaker might be behind the curve when it comes to announcing its electric vehicle plans, but it’s looking like the Fiat-Chrysler-owned company will manage to ship a fully electric car by 2020, with something to show off in the 2019 timeframe.

The Maserati EV won’t be a Tesla Model S competitor, but will instead be more in the “grand-touring coupe” vein according to Car and Driver, which spoke to Maserati engineering lead Roberto Fedeli about the company’s EV plans at the Paris Motor show this past week.

Fedeli told the publication it’s well aware they’re late to the game, and will probably be “last” to market with a production electric car in the premium segment. But he also said this means they’ll have to deliver something “very different” from the offerings of competitors. He acknowledged that the carmaker has to think about what its brand means in the EV space, since signature Maserati trademarks like the sound of the engine and the lightness of the cars run at cross-purposes to EVs with whisper quiet motors and battery-laden heavy chassis.

It’s an interesting look at how established carmakers have to re-think their brands in light of the increased popularity and demand for electric cars, and how that might result in very different-looking offerings in terms of both tech and design, relative both to existing lineups and to the competition.