Fresh off the news that Energica would be stepping down as the spec-supplier for the MotoE World Cup, today at Misano we learn who will be replacing the small Italian outfit: Ducati.
The news is a bit of surprise, firstly because it involves an established motorcycle brand, and not a startup outfit, and secondly as Borgo Panigale brand has largely been resistant to the electric motorcycle trend.
The details of the Ducati electric grand prix bike are surely going to take a while to flush, as we get closer to the 2023 season, but the benchmark will surely be the outgoing Energica Ego Corsa.
Talking at the press conference at the MotoGP round in Misano, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali wasn’t bashful that the company’s electric racing program will lead to a production motorcycle for the street, but cautioned that such a thing would arrive until after 2025.
“We are proud of this agreement because, like all the first times, it represents a historic moment for our company. Ducati is always projected towards the future and every time it enters a new world, it does so to create the best performing product possible,” said Domenicali.
“This agreement comes at the right time for Ducati, which has been studying the situation of electric powertrains for years, because it will allow us to experiment in a well-known and controlled field like that of racing competition.”
“We will work to make available to all participants of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup electric bikes that are high-performance and characterized by lightness.”
“It is precisely on weight, a fundamental element of sports bikes, that the greatest challenge will be played out. Lightness has always been in Ducati’s DNA and thanks to the technology and chemistry of the batteries that are evolving rapidly we are convinced that we can obtain an excellent result.”
“We test our innovations and our futuristic technological solutions on circuits all over the world and then make exciting and desirable products available to Ducatisti. I am convinced that once again we will build on the experiences we have had in the world of racing competition to transfer them and apply them also on production bikes.”
Talking further, the biggest limiting factor for a production electric superbike, according to Domenicali, is the state of battery technology, which will need to see a new technology come onboard to replace the current lithium options.
That technology, without being mentioned, is surely solid state lithium batteries, which promise to significantly increase battery energy density, and could be silver bullet to making electric motorcycles that perform in parity with their internal combustion counterparts.
With Ducati providing the MotoE machinery through the 2026 season, there is the opportunity that what we see on the track could be a close-preview to what will come for the street. But of course, time will tell.