Speed has changed its tune. The sound of engines has become the sound of silence, providing the perfect accompaniment to the power of innovation and respect for the environment, while fuelling racing passion – the two-wheeled version included.
The Enel e-Mobility Revolution has opened a whole new chapter in the history of both electric mobility and motorsport as it arrives in the great “temples” of speed to fuel the very first all-electric motorbike World Cup. Under a new partnership agreement signed with MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna Sports, our Group will take on the role of both Title Sponsor of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup and Sustainable Power Partner to MotoGP. The new single-make championship debuts in 2019 and will initially be held in Europe. It will be competed using a high performance electric race bike built by Italian manufacturer Energica, one of the world’s leaders in two-wheeled electric development.
Sound of silence reigns at 200 km/h
“Driving along at over 200 km/h in complete silence is a fantastic experience.” These were the words of three-time World Champion Loris Capirossi at the presentation of the Enel Group-Dorna partnership on February 6 in Rome. Over the course of his 20-year career, Capirossi saw the motorbike world championship evolve from 2-stroke 125, 250 and 500 engines to the deafening MotoGP 4-strokes. Today, he is bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to the development of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, while his passion for bikes will help open up the MotoGP fan base to the new sound of zero-decibel driving. “I could hear the sound of my knee sliders (protective knee pads in all driver suits – ed) rubbing along the asphalt for the very first time ever. It was incredible!” says Capirossi. The new bike’s “very different” driving feel was another revelation.
“It’s a really great feeling. You get on and there is no gearbox or clutch, but I can assure you that, despite its weight on the track, it’s very nimble and fun to drive”
Loris Capirossi, driver
A potential audience of millions of spectators worldwide
Letting the broader public know about the new bike sound – and a new form of mobility with electric, low CO2 emissions – is a fascinating challenge and an as of yet unexplored universe. It is also one of the aims of the partnership between our company and Dorna. Enel General Manager Francesco Starace emphasised that point at the Rome presentation, explaining that this collaboration with Dorna will demonstrate to millions of motorbike racing fans and spectators across the world how e-mobility works, and how the technology underpinning it will make it available to us all in everyday life.
“Through this competition reaching millions and millions of people we want to demonstrate that electric mobility is today and not in the future”
Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager Enel
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta also spoke about sustainable development and e-mobility, emphasising the strategic value of the launch of a competition specifically for electric motorbikes and the importance of the technological partnership with our company.
“Dorna and FIM are delighted to move ahead into the world of electric mobility – it’s a necessary choice for the future”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports
The Enel-Dorna collaboration will also involve the International Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA), the MotoGP Independent Teams and Energica’s bikes. “You can be sure that together we can make the Cup a resounding success,” Ezpeleta concluded.
FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) President Vito Ippolito also stressed the importance of making motorsport more human and sustainable. FIM embarked on its sustainability programme 25 years ago and it now represents “a key pillar for the future of motorcycling.” From that perspective, Mr Ippolito added “the partnership between Dorna, Energica, and Enel will ensure that within the sports sector, we are contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals, especially those related to affordable clean energy.”
Speed and technology: sustainable passion
Motorsport competitions aren’t just a formidable vehicle for raising awareness of the e-Mobility Revolution. They also act as a test bench that will accelerate the evolution of the technology itself and constantly drive improvements in the systems serving sustainable mobility. Indeed, our partnership with Dorna will also involve offering services designed to reduce the CO2 footprint of the Cup’s different stages. We will be implementing smart power management solutions and digital meters to guarantee Dorna and the MotoE World Cup cutting-edge complex electrical system management technologies.
Thanks to the innovative services developed by Enel X, our Group’s advanced energy services division, Energica’s electric motorbikes will be powered either by renewable energy generated in situ using new generation portable photovoltaic systems or renewable energy from local distribution networks. Energy produced “in-house” from renewable sources will be used for zero-emission “fill-ups” for the bikes, which will be recharged using our rapid smart charging systems. This technology means they can be recharged both in the pits, by connecting to the network, or in any other area of the circuit, in battery mode, using a mobile charger with integrated accumulation capacity. The mobile units will be easy to transport from the pits to the paddock or even onto the grid. They will also be connected to Enel’s smart e-mobility platform to optimise the recharging process.
To launch these innovations on the track, Enel X CEO Francesco Venturini underscored the company’s commitment to developing software and hardware that will make e-mobility widely available. Enel X is already busily creating a very broad-ranging public charging network for electric vehicles that will see 2,700 charging stations in place by the end of 2018, rising to 14,000 by the end of 2022.
“No other European country is developing e-mobility on a par with us, and we are very happy to be the trailblazer”
Francesco Venturini, CEO Enel X
The subject of track and innovation was also tackled by Energica CEO Livia Cevolini. The bike around which the FIM Enel World Cup will centre on, the EgoGP, still requires fine-tuning in many areas. “The Cup races will act as an R&D lab for road bikes, helping improve battery performance and recharging speeds.”
In preparation for next year’s competition, Energica will also be staging a demo test programme during the 2018 MotoGP World Championship, designed to improve the performance and handling of the EgoGP. So the high-performance electric race bikes will actually be taking to the track this year and the fans in the stands will be able to admire and applaud them in action in the coming season.
The FIM Enel World Cup will be an open-air test lab of sorts, bringing technology, passion and sport together on motorsport’s most iconic circuits. In all, 18 Energica bikes will be taking to the track during several stages of the championship, flanking bikes in the latter’s Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP classes. The EgoGP will be given to the MotoGP teams as well as those from other categories. It may be tiptoeing into the sport but it is doing so with an eye to both the present and the future of a new electric and sustainable dimension of mobility.
So all that remains now is for the lights to go out, as they do at the start of the races, ushering in the sound of silence and a whole new era for motorbikes.