Ducati to become MotoE's new electric bike manufacturer

Ducati will take over as exclusive manufacturer for the MotoE electric bike class from 2023.

MotoE has received a major boost with the announcement that Ducati is to become the future manufacturer for the electric bike class.

The news was broken by Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali on the eve of this weekend's Emilia Romagna GP, where the Italian factory will be fighting to keep its MotoGP title hopes alive with Francesco Bagnaia.

"We announce today the entrance of Ducati into electrical mobility," Domenicali said. "We have reached an agreement with Dorna to be the single supplier for the MotoE championship from 2023 to 2026.

"This is a very important step for us because we are continuing to do what we did in the past but with the technology that for sure will come to two-wheel production motorcycles in the future.

"At Ducati, our core values are style, sophistication and performance so we decided to enter electrical mobility from the top and there is no better way than competition to test and learn.

"We want our engineers to become as good as they are at developing internal combustion engines and I think everyone can say our engine in MotoGP is one of the fastest, if not the fastest.

"We think it's the right moment. For motorcycles the main problem (with electric) is the weight, and so actually we have a program in order to make the motorcycle as light as possible. I think that was one of the winning [parts] of our program for Dorna.

"We are super excited to start in 2023.

"There is this impression that electric mobility is boring, but I've tested 1000kW cars and it was the most impressive thing I've ever driven. The throttle response is very sharp. Electric is an exciting powerplant. The main problem is the weight and range, which is an easier problem to solve on cars. The technology is not yet ready to make a sporty, light motorcycle but we want to be ready for the future."

However, Domenicali added that the MotoE deal doesn't mean Ducati is betting entirely on electric power but is instead trying to stay on top of all the main green energy options.

"We don’t think that it's clear now that the future for motorbikes will be completely electric. eFuels could also play an important role. For example Porshe will have 80% of their range electric, but the 911 will remain with an internal cobustion engine and they are developing eFuel in South America. But it requires a lot of energy to make eFuel, so you need to use renewable energy, somewhere with a lot of sun and wind.

"If eFuel becomes a reality, the current engine technology doesn't have to change too much. But it's just a prototype project for Porsche at the moment. So we want to develop the electric technology also, to be ready in the event that it is the direction to go. We are thinking about the best ways to keep our company alive and better in ten years, whatever the playing field will be."

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta also confirmed that carbon-neutral fuels could be seen in the conventional grand prix classes in future and that other exisiting MotoGP manufacturers had also been interested in taking over the MotoE deal.

Energica has supplied the MotoE machines since the inaugural 2019 MotoE season, but will end its involvement after the 2022 campaign.

The Energica Ego Corsa bikes produce around 120kW of power for a hefty weight of 260kg. On track that equates to lap times comparable with the Moto3 class, albeit over shorter race distances, and a top speed of 260km/h. Michelin supplies the tyres with suspension by Ohlins.

Most importantly for the new class, the Energica machines have proven to be unflinchingly reliable, with no mechanical failures in any of the races so far.