Ducati BEV Racer Readies for Track Competition

Following successful track tests of the Ducati MotoE racer, the motorcycle manufacturer has released technical specifications of its new electric bike.

While its sound is unlikely to stir the passions of the Italian brand’s tifosi, Ducati is hoping it will at least get the BEV geeks fired up to watch the single-model race series, FIM MotoE, when it launches in 2023. While the series expects battery powered motorcycles to be considerably porkier than their ICE siblings, at least the Ducati MotoE keeps its total weight down to 225kg, some 12kg less than the minimum requirements imposed by Dorna and FIM for a bike with enough battery range capable of completing the race distance.

Maximum claimed power and torque figures are 147bhp and 103ft-lbs respectively, which allowed it to reach a speed of 170mph on a circuit like Mugello in Italy. The battery pack weighs 110kg and offers a capacity of 18kWh with a 20-kW charging socket integrated into the tail. Inside there are 1,152 cylindrical cells of the “21700” type.

The inverter, with a low weight of 5kg, is a unit derived from a high-performance model used in motor racing for electric vehicles, while the motor, with a 21kg weight and a maximum rotation speed of 18,000 rpm, was developed by a partner following the technical specifications provided by Ducati. The entire system is based on a voltage of 800V to maximize the output of the electric powertrain and, as a consequence, performance and range.

The prototype’s components are cooled by a liquid system with a double circuit designed to meet the different thermal needs of the battery pack and the motor/inverter unit. This keeps temperatures regular so that it is not necessary to wait for the battery pack to cool to start the charging process. The Ducati MotoE can be charged as soon as it enters the garage and it takes about 45 minutes to recharge it up to 80% of its range.

The carbon fiber case of the battery pack also acts as a stressed part of the chassis, similar to that with the Ducati Panigale V4 engine, with an aluminum monocoque front frame for the front area weighing 3.7kg. The rear is composed of an aluminum swingarm weighing 4.8kg with a geometry like that of the Ducati Desmosedici racing in MotoGP.

Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO, said:  “The world is going through a complex period and environmental sustainability is an element that all individuals and all companies must consider a priority if we want to preserve the delicate balance of the planet. As Ducati, we have grasped this need and we went in search of a challenge that would allow us to contribute to the common goal of reducing CO₂ emissions and at the same time to keep faith with our DNA linked to racing. We agreed with determination to develop the most performing electric racing bike that current technology makes possible and to use this project as a laboratory in which to build our future.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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