Energica, the Italian company that will exclusively supply its EgoGP electric motorcycles for the 2019 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, was center stage on Tuesday in Rome, along with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, FIM president Vito Ippolito, and Enel CEO Francesco Starace.
Driven by the success of Formula E, the MotoE World Cup will race at five European rounds of next year’s MotoGP world championship. There will be 18 riders, and the machines will be managed by seven MotoGP satellite teams and two from either Moto2 or Moto3.
For the first three years, the series it will be a “cup” with the possibility of a world championship further in the future. Races—distance to be determined—will be held on Sundays between the morning warm-up and the Moto3 race.
At the heart of the EgoGP racebike is a synchronous oil-cooled motor with permanent magnets that produces a claimed 110 kW (147 hp) and 200 Nm (147 pound-feet) of torque. The bike reportedly accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
Livia Cevolini is the CEO of the Energica Motor Company, an engineer, and a new mother. Cevolini was born into a racing family. Her father, Roberto, founded the CRP Group—now managed by her brother Franco—a distinguished aerospace and Formula 1 supplier.
During the past decade, Cevolini has helped create a new electric two-wheel chapter for Italy’s “Motor Valley,” the area of Modena that boasts Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, and Pagani. Ducati is based in Bologna, and Imola and Misano are also nearby.
— Energica (@EnergicaMotor) February 6, 2018
Energica shared the track with MotoGP at Laguna Seca in 2011 for a round of the FIM E-Power championship. Was that when all of this began?
In a way, yes. That weekend at Laguna Seca had the greatest number of participants in the electric series. The Energica project was born between 2008 and ’09 when the company created an all-electric racing bike called eCRP. The first concept Energica was derived from the eCRP 1.4, the electric-bike runner-up in the 2010 European championship and 2011 world championship. Meanwhile, the technology has taken huge steps. The EgoGP is much more advanced and powerful.
With an electric heart that beats at 240 kph, is Energica the Tesla of two wheels?
Every motorcyclist who tests the Energica is surprised by how powerful and easy to ride this bike is. The secret is the VCU [Vehicle Control Unit] we have patented that manages the whole vehicle. We worked so hard on this VCU and the ride by wire to tame the enormous power of the electric motor. At the “Where is my EGO Tour” in San Francisco, we received the compliments of Martin Eberhard, the co-founder and former CEO of Tesla.
What can you say about the EgoGP that will compete in the MotoE Cup?
The EgoGP is derived from the Ego, a production bike that can reach a top speed 240 kph and has a range of 150 kilometers, which varies from 200 kilometers on the street to 120–130 kilometers on a mountain road. The EgoGP will be more powerful and faster than the streetbike. During the 2018 season, we will do several tests on MotoGP circuits with Loris Capirossi. There is a target to cover a minimum 10 laps [on a single charge], but I have my personal goal to reach.
What are the limits of this bike?
The electric facilities. We are going through a period of transition because the technology has made huge steps, but still the infrastructure is poor. What would our mobile phones be like without a network or roaming?
What do you want to achieve with the MotoE Cup?
We want to show riders and fans worldwide that the technology is mature, and they need to trust electric vehicles as an alternative.
Why a single manufacturer?
For the first years, the idea is to focus on the development and keep the costs down. We are already studying the new powertrain that will be used from 2020.
Is the future electric?
For sure. The electric motor gives you more freedom because the electricity can be produced in multiple ways.