Ducati has announced the commencement of production of the company’s electric race bike. It is not going to be a big run as the grand total is to be 23 units – 18 of which will be raced in the 2023 MotoE championship with five bikes held back as spares. The bike, codenamed V21L, will be Ducati’s first offering since the company took over the production of the bikes for the series from previous supplier Energica. Ducati believes the engineering and development of the new bike will aid the company in eventually offering electric motorcycles to Ducati customers.
There is some hyperbole in the announcement as Ducati says that the V21L is “a prototype with which Ducati experiments in a world yet to be discovered, that of electric sports bikes.” There are some manufacturers out there that would disagree with that statement – primarily perhaps Energica, another Italian company with some very interesting electric offerings.
But there are nuggets of wisdom within the announcement as Ducati appears to acknowledge that limitations are still faced by the many companies bringing electric motorcycles to market. Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali says as much:
It is an important area of experimentation, in which we are investing to build know-how, so that we will be ready when battery technology should allow the creation of an exciting electric road bike with the weight, performance and range that enthusiasts expect from a Ducati.
The challenge, as always, remains the battery capacity and as we have previously discussed the current capacities limit electric motorcycles in their universality. Battery capacity will increase though the application of new tech including solid state batteries and when it does happen Ducati wants to be ready. With a race length set in stone, a series featuring electric race bikes is a perfect proving ground.
MotoE is a support class featuring electric race bikes (all to be built by Ducati) held during rounds of the MotoGP series. While not at every MotoGP event, the electric bikes will be featured at eight rounds commencing with the French Grand Prix on May 13, 2023.