Ducati has inked a deal to become the exclusive motorcycle supplier for MotoE. The company announced the historic deal at Italy’s Misano World Circuit just ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix this weekend. The electric class of the MotoGP World Championship will see an all-Ducati field starting in 2023.
We’ve known for a while that Ducati, like the rest of the auto industry and its VW overlords, is planning a move toward electrification. It’s planning to release an electric bike by 2030, the deadline by which VW Group has declared all its brands will offer a battery-powered option.
The company says its goal is “to develop expertise and technologies” in the crucible of motorsports that will filter down to street-legal e-bikes when the time comes. It likens the MotoE bike to the Ducati 851, whose fuel-injected water-cooled twin derived its Desmodromic four-valve heads from the 748 IE enduro racer.
“This endless transfer of expertise has always taken place from the Superbike World Championships, in which Ducati has participated since the first edition in 1988, and from MotoGP, in which Ducati is the only non-Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to have won a World Championship,” the company said in a statement.
The biggest challenge, as Ducati sees it, is weight. The company has prided itself on the lightweight construction of its sports bikes, but battery packs are, of course, heavy. “We will work to make … electric bikes that are high-performance and characterized by lightness,” the statement continued. “It is precisely on weight, a fundamental element of sports bikes, that the greatest challenge will be played out.”
Ducati’s deal means it will replace the Energica Ego Corsa, the current sole MotoE bike. The company also credits the VW Group for sharing its electrification knowledge, calling the partnership “an extraordinary exchange of expertise in the field of electric powertrains.” The MotoE deal lasts until 2026, giving Ducati several years to put their electric know-how to the test for a roadgoing version by the end of the decade.