On October 19, 2021, Dorna announced that Energica would no longer act as the sole supplier to the MotoE electric motorcycle racing series after the 2022 season. While the end of that four-year contract immediately made us wonder if the racing organization would open the field to more manufacturers, Dorna answered our question quicker than anticipated.
In a special press conference at Italy’s Misano World Circuit today, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicalli announced that Ducati will act as the lone manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup from 2023-2026. Of course, unlike Energica, Ducati doesn’t currently have an electric motorcycle on the market or in production. That isn’t deterring the Bologna brand from taking on the task though.
Ducati has flirted with the idea of manufacturing electric motorcycles for some time now. In January, 2019, Domenicalli revealed that the brand was “not far from beginning production” of electric motorcycles following the Ducati-backed University of Bologna’s third-place MotoStudent race finish at the Aragon Circuit in Spain. Unfortunately, the firm backpedaled by April, 2021, with Ducati VP of Sales Francesco Milicia noting, “Will we produce an electric Ducati soon? No. We think that for the kind of machine we produce now, an electric motorcycle cannot guarantee the pleasure, the range, the weight, etc. that Ducati riders expect.”
Just six months later, the firm's approach seems to have changed again. During the event, Domenicalli stated that Ducati is entering “electrical mobility from the top.” In other words, the company plans to leverage MotoE data and learnings as a means to develop its production electric motorcycle lineup. Domenicalli and team believe that competition will allow their engineers to produce a high-performance machine for both the race track and public roads.
While Ducati has waffled on the topic several times, it’s important to note that brand has more than a year to develop and produce its MotoE prototype for the 2023 season. Domenicalli also emphasized the firm's focus on lightweight construction, efficiency, and battery composition during the conference. When asked if the project would result in a production model, Domenicalli estimated that a road-legal electric motorcycle wouldn't be possible until 2025-2030. Ducati obviously has a long way to go, but we can’t wait to see what the brand puts on the track and on showroom floors in the future.
“We are eager to see what the future has in store and continue to watch this technology develop and grow, with the MotoGP paddock and MotoE continuing to drive innovation and evolution in the motorcycling industry - at the same time as creating an incredible on-track spectacle,” stated Ezpeleta.