The MotoE championship returns: innovation and sustainability on the track

The MotoE championship returns: innovation and sustainability on the track

At the Vallelunga Autodrome just outside Rome, we presented the 2023 FIM Enel MotoE World ChampionshipTM and introduced the innovative V21L, the new Ducati-designed electric racing motorcycle, with charging solutions from Enel X Way.

According to an old saying dear to motorcyclists, "four wheels move the body, two move the soul." And two wheels can also move the world toward a future of sustainable mobility, at a speed and with an acceleration unthinkable only a few years ago, thanks in part to an event that promises great excitement: the FIM Enel MotoETM world championship.


The new frontier of electrification

Take the V21L: a 275-km/h top speed, zero-to-100 in just over two seconds, precision-tuned fireball by Ducati, which in its first test laps in early March in Jerez wowed the highly demanding MotoGP riders. The V21L is on the cutting edge of two-wheeled mobility and was unveiled last March 17 at the ACI Vallelunga e-Mobility Hub near Rome, anticipating its track debut next May at Le Mans. One key detail should not be forgotten: the V21L is an electric motorcycle. The French city will have the honor of hosting the first of eight rounds of the 2023 MotoE championship organized by Dorna, which, as of this year’s world championship, is partnering with Ducati to supply bikes for all the teams. Enel, as Title Sponsor of the championship, and Enel X Way, once again Official Smart Charging Partner with innovative and sustainable charging solutions, will contribute to the growth of an event that has already won over two-wheel enthusiasts.

"We don't sponsor riders or teams," said our Group's CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace during the championship's launch event, "we want to partner with the championship as a whole because we believe in its enormous potential. We’re convinced that a rapid and widespread electrification of the transportation sector is crucial for the future of our planet, and our partnership with MotoE is an excellent way to show how technologies in this field can get better and better.”

"For us, the extreme racing environment is not just entertainment, it’s the ideal laboratory to take these technologies to the limit, and be able to turn them into solutions for everyday use that are increasingly comfortable, efficient and affordable – solutions that in turn help accelerate the electrification process," concluded Enel's CEO.


The best drivers, the best technologies

"For the past hundred years, every technological advance in the mobility sector has originated on the racetrack," pointed out Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, the organizer of the championship. "Four years ago, when we came up with MotoE, we did it in this very spirit. We said to ourselves: we want to bring together the best riders and the best technologies in the world, and become a resource to be put at the disposal of the industry to develop better and better ideas. It’s succeeded beyond our expectations: in four years we’ve learned a lot, and we’ve seen our electric motorcycle evolve in a way that we couldn’t have imagined. Now, with Ducati joining us, we’re at an exciting new beginning."

It's a new beginning of sorts for Ducati, too – as CEO Claudio Domenicali explained, "We’d never produced an electric motorcycle before, and it was a tough testing ground for us. When the first bikes left the factory for track testing, we were as tense as students facing a final exam – the MotoGP riders who would test them are notoriously demanding. Imagine our satisfaction when we broke the lap speed record! That was a week ago: the actual championship hasn't even started yet, but we’re already developing the new model of the V21L." The Ducati CEO says that MotoE is a traveling laboratory of experimentation: "it’s incredible how technology can make giant strides forward, at lightning speed, here: we accepted this challenge because sustainability is important to us, and we wanted to prove it with facts, but also because we wanted to produce the most powerful and best electric motorcycle ever. It’s a challenge that we can say we’ve won." But since Ducati is still Ducati – a brand that races to set records – Domenicali cannot help but add, "In fact, it was the chronometer that said it." In short, said the CEO, "For us, motorcycles are excitement and passion, and now we know that an electric one is capable of inspiring just as much passion as a traditional two-wheeler."

Alex De Angelis, a MotoE test racer with extensive racing experience on conventional motorcycles, is also convinced: "With the V21L, you don’t miss anything about the combustion engine. In fact, I find it even more exciting. Riding around the track, I discovered noises I’d never heard before, like the sound that your knee sliders make as they scrape along the asphalt when you take a corner."


The same emotions, sustainable solutions

Given the enthusiastic response, it seems clear that the spectators don’t miss the deafening roar of MotoGP and the bone-shaking vibrations as the racers thunder down the home stretch: during the races, the almost unreal silence – in which echo the muted sound of rolling tires, the gusts of air displacement, and the futuristic hiss of the racing motorcycles whizzing by at nearly 300 km per hour – seems to add to the tension of the wheel-to-wheel challenges. All of which makes MotoE not only a high-adrenaline spectacle, but also the ideal showcase to promote sustainable mobility on a large scale as a response to the effects of climate change.

All this power, passion and excitement that MotoE has proven capable of conveying to the spectators is powered by the solutions that Enel X Way has developed specifically for the championship, and whose technology has evolved as quickly as that of racing motorcycles: "not only in terms of the efficiency of the charging systems," said Enel X Way CEO Elisabetta Ripa, "but also in terms of safety and the overall sustainability of the entire facility."  

The Wayroll EVO Race edition – which debuted in its previous version in 2021 and now, thanks to a joint development with Ducati, has undergone an upgrade that makes it more versatile, with the maximum charging voltage increasing from 500V to 850V – supports the architecture of the new Ducati. It is lighter, because the new aluminum chassis has reduced the weight of the mobile unit (MU) by 30 kilograms, and also more powerful, because compared to last season, the Wayroll EVO Race Edition MUs will be used in qualifying rounds between Q1 and Q2, increasing charging power to 11.4 kW. With the integrated battery, they can be transported more easily and don’t require installation and wiring. Power will be generated partly by solar panels installed inside the MotoE paddock.

Record-breaking performance – as befits MotoE's extreme environment –will, Ripa says, "translate into even better products and services that we can offer to all our customers" – which will make e-mobility easier and more accessible, and accelerate its global deployment.

"We’ve been pioneers in providing charging systems on four wheels, with constant technological development, and we want to continue to be pioneers now on two wheels, thanks to our experience in other e-motor championships. MotoE is an incredible opportunity to continue to bring our technology to serve all segments of mobility that are transitioning to electric," Ripa concluded.

After all, "true progress happens only when the advantages of a new technology become available to everyone," as Henry Ford, the father of mass motorization, said. Today we’re writing a new, important chapter in that story: more eco-friendly, but no less exciting.