The discussion about when Ducati would build its first electric motorcycle has been going on for quite some time, but the conversation reached a new height about a year and a half ago, when Volkswagen debuted its Roadmap E initiative.
The concept here is simple, all of the brands in the VW family would have a full line of electric vehicles by the year 2030. This set off speculation about how this order would affect the Bologna-based motorcycle maker.
Then a month later, Ducati’s Edouard Lotthé (Managing Director of Ducati Western Europe) was quoted saying that an electric model, as well as a scooter, are both in the works for the Italian brand.
Lotthé tipped that we wouldn’t see either before the 2021 model year, but time has certainly ticked by since then. Now in the 2019 model year, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali has added more fuel to the EV fire.
Quoted at a student event at the University of Bologna, Domenicali stated that “the future is electric” and that Ducati was not far from starting production on an electric motorcycle model.
This pegs Ducati’s first electric bike for debut in the 2020 or 2021 model years, which is right around the time we expect to see solid-state batteries making an arrival on production automobiles.
What type of bike could Ducati be electrifying? That remains the big question. The brand is without a meaningful small-displacement offering, which could easily be filled with a 300cc-class electric motorcycle model.
That would pair quite well the current state of technology for EV transportation with the needs of the Ducati brand, without stepping on too many toes with the Ducati-loyal.
Of course, we would be more intrigued to see a motorcycle model more akin to the Mission R electric superbike, which would give Ducati a halo electric bike in its lineup – similar to what Harley-Davidson is doing with its $30,000 Livewire offering.
Until then, we can ogle over this student project that Ducati assisted in creating, which won third place at the University of Bologna’s engineering contest.
Specs aren’t forthcoming, but we do know that the machine does 0-60mph in roughly 3.5 seconds. The design is an interesting one, with what looks like a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, along with a swingarm with topology optimization.
While obviously the motorcycle below has only a minor involvement from the folks at Ducati, it does provide some insight into what is orbiting the brains around the Borgo Panigale factory. Interesting stuff.
Source: Corse di Moto