The Vallelunga circuit outside Rome played host to the official presentation of the 2023 MotoE World Championship, an electric motorbike competition in which Ducati is the sole supplier, offering their electric sports motorcycle “V21L” prototype.
Ducati CEO, Claudio Domenicali, joined Dorna Sports CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, and representatives from major partners to present the fifth edition of the “zero emissions championship” to the press. It marks the first time the championship will have world title status.
Claudio Domenicali CEO Ducati: “The decision to participate in the MotoE World Championship as sole supplier of the bikes is a cornerstone of the Ducati strategy. In fact, electrification, together with the introduction of carbon neutral fuels for internal combustion engines (e-fuel), will be necessary to reduce Ducati’s carbon footprint and allow us to achieve our long-term sustainability goals. However, every true Ducati is above all emotion, so it is very important to manage this transition very closely, taking care to maintain the sporty character and fun-to-ride characteristics of every Borgo Panigale bike. With the V21L we wanted to challenge the limits of the sector by aiming to create the most performing electric motorcycle ever made for the track. Above all, we wanted to develop the Company’s internal expertise to be ready when battery technology, in particular weight, will make it possible to create an electric street motorcycle with all the characteristics that distinguish a Ducati. Having 18 riders with different needs and riding styles on the track at the same time represents a great opportunity for Ducati to study what could become the character of a future electric Ducati. The first tests in Jerez went very well. Despite unfavourable weather, the feedback on the bike from the riders and teams was very good, with the new unofficial circuit record. Ducati has never built such a large number of prototypes and this too represents a challenge within a challenge for us.”
How is Ducati’s electric motorcycle for MotoE
Called the ‘V21L’ prototype, Ducati’s electric motorcycle involved several professionals from the company, from designers to engineers, to end up with a total weight of 225 kg. That’s 12 kg less than the minimum requirements imposed by Dorna and FIM for MotoE.
In terms of power and torque, the model delivers a maximum of 110 kW (150 HP) and 140 Nm respectively, which allows it to reach a maximum speed of 275 km/h (170 MPH).
The battery is huge and uses practically the entire central part of the bike. It consists of 1,152 cylindrical cells of the ‘21700’ type, weighs 110 kg and offers a capacity of 18 kWh with a 20 kW charging socket integrated into the tail. The battery’s carbon fiber housing also acts as a stressed part of the chassis.
In addition, the 5 kg inverter is a unit derived from a high-performance model used in motorsport for electric vehicles.
The engine, on the other hand, weighs 21 kg, has a maximum rotation of 18,000 rpm, and was developed by a partner following the technical specifications provided by Ducati.
According to the company, the entire system is based on a voltage of 800V (with a fully charged battery) to maximize engine power and, as a result, performance and range.
The Ducati ‘V21L’ features an Öhlins NPX 25/30 pressurized inverted fork at the front, derived from the Superleggera V4, and an adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber at the rear.
Finally, the brake system is supplied by Brembo and is dimensioned to the specific requirements of Ducati MotoE. At the front it consists of a double steel disc with a diameter of 338.5 mm, and at the rear a single disc of 220 mm.
Anyway, we cannot say that the electric world is totally new for Ducati, since the Bologna factory has a line of high-performance electric bicycles. But now with an electric racing bike, the brand paves the way for a production bike in the future.