If or when MotoGP goes electric?

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Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:11
Peter McLaren
Peter McLaren's picture
If or when MotoGP goes electric?

MotoGP is planning an electric support class which could debut in 2019. But do you think the main MotoGP class will - or should - have an all-electric future… and if so, when?

Perhaps hybrid technology is the answer, mixing some electric power while keeping the performance and sound of petrol? Or should MotoGP stay unashamedly fuel-powered to the end? It is, after all, a prototype class…

Which brings up the question of the production World Superbike and Supersport classes: As electric takes over road bikes, these classes would also need to reflect that change.

If grand prix doesn't feature at least some electric technology, is there a danger that manufacturers could switch their support to an electric World Supersport or even Superbike class, for example?

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:56
JKcrash's picture
An electric bike series would

An electric bike series would be absolutely billiant IF it's done well. Formula E is growing and some of the bigger names are now being linked, I think electric MotoGP could be even bigger, again IF it's well thought through and promoted properly.

I'd love to see it on terrestrial TV and plenty of access to footage and riders 

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:40
mrfill's picture
Until the major manufacturers

Until the major manufacturers start producing electric bikes for big volume sales, there is nothing in it for them so it won't happen. The TTzero race has been going now for 8 years and it started with 5 bikes. Mugen (Honda) joined in 2014 and this year 8 bikes started the race, half of which were university projects. 6 entries didn't make the start line. For the first time, all starters actually finished.


Electric bikes races don't sell bikes. And manufacturers support series where they can increase sales. The inference is obvious.

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 07:38
ghezzi's picture
Electric bikes V Moto GP (and other combustion noisy engines)



I fully support any fosil fuel powered race bikes, especially 2 strokes. It was recently proven that a Tesla saloon car, equal in size and performance to a BMW 750i, created just as much polution. Even worse for the environment was the toxicity of mining lithium, cobalt and nickel. And you can't refill (charge) a Tesla in 5 minutes.



Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:29
salieri's picture
I'm wondering whether the all

I'm wondering whether the all electric battery driven thing isn't barking up the wrong tree.  Some major manufacturers have already put a lot of effort into hydrogen fuel cell approach which can still use internal combustion engine technology to feed an electric motor so perhaps we could get the best of both worlds?

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:43
MOTO...E...BIKE's picture
MOTOGP as a sport should

MOTOGP as a sport should never go to electric. The manufacturers should instead focus on electric for the street bikes they sell to public so when the world turns to electric, battery and solar power MOTOGP would be exqisite, the sound of pure horsepower would attract public attention towards the sport. The sweet sound of bang engines powered by petrol instead of everyday public bikes with silent engines would make the MOTOGP sport grow as an astonishing peculiar attractive muscular sound and growls of the gas powered bikes. But mine is only a speculation since Manufacturers rely on motogp,sbk for bike sales and promotional department motogp may slowly and gradually go completely electric which i see would not be a sport meant for attraction any more, people would stop watching it altogether since the sould of the machines is what turns up the public bike lovers' attention towards it.

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 21:19
pdfbt40's picture
Apart from the environmental

Apart from the environmental balance arguments, the basic problem with both electric and hydrogen power is primarily energy density.  What weight does it take to provide the same amount of energy. Despite all the guff about rapid development of batteries, they weigh around 40 times more that than for fossil fuel.  It doesn't even reduce as energy is used!
Hydrogen, whether compressed or liquid have similar problems in their actual specific density. It takes a full sized 38te HGV to move 300kg of compressed hydrogen.
There is also the refuelling. Common normal charging takes hours.  Proprietary fast charging (loads of different incompatable ones) can reduce to tens of minutes.

Formula E makes a big thing of almost doubling the capacity of their spec battery in 2 years time.  This is based on risky compression of cells (remember phones catching fire) and some increase in weight.
These alternatives are fine in Formula where all are the same, but its not incremental change to make EVs practical.  It still need some massive step changes and how doyou get those on the track?

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:48
76rufus's picture
Not yet but in about 20yrs..

Imagine 250mph electric rocket ships, instant torque/full power. No noise complaints from housing associations just super fast racebikes.


Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:23
(Reply to #8)
iamzombie's picture
Imagine 10 lap races.... 

Imagine 10 lap races.... 

To hell with housing associations, unless they built the track AFTER you bought your house, you are an idiot to buy a house near a racetrack and complain about noise.

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:36
(Reply to #9)
SmokinHaddock's picture
Well that may be logical, but

Well that may be logical, but its not the law.  We already have significant restrictions on the use of race tracks because of noise.  That is only going to get worse, so I'm afraid your statement doesn't help in the slightest.  Electric bikes are one solution to that problem.

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 09:51
(Reply to #10)
BobKelso's picture
Would you pay the same amount

Would you pay the same amount of money to watch a virtually silent 10 lap MotoGP race?  And by what means would you get there?  Electic bike?  Electric car?  Teleportation device?  Maybe all the traffic on race day could be banned too because of, you know, the inconvenience to the locals...  Better still, let's just abandon motorsport completely!  *sighs*

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 19:13
reinmacre's picture
A big part of the whole moto

A big part of the whole moto experience is the sound(and back in the two stroke day, smell).

I guess I'm old school.  Dudes blowing by me on electric mountain bikes annoys me too.