Energica is to withdraw as official manufacturer motorcycles for the MotoE class at the end of the 2022 season. After four years, MotoE will see something other than the Energica Ego Corsa machine being raced.
The MotoE class has been a qualified success since the class started back in 2019. It got off to a troubled start - a fire at the final test of 2019 at Jerez saw the entire fleet of Energica machines destroyed, causing the start of the inaugural season to be delayed until early July, to give Energica enough time to build replacement machines.
There were concerns about how the class would be received by fans, the motorcycle industry being notoriously conservative. But after some mild initial skepticism, the series has been embraced, the short (7-10 lap) races producing exciting and intense battles. The 2021 season finale at Misano 1 generated the controversy and excitement needed to raise the profile of the series, with Jordi Torres taking the title after a last-lap clash with Dominique Aegerter, the Swiss rider making a final desperate lunge into the hairpin at the end of the back straight and taking both riders down.
That was very much the objective of the class. To introduce the concept of racing electric motorcycles to fans, to get them to accept and understand it, and to get them excited about the prospect. That goal has been achieved.
The goal of creating close, competitive racing is why the series was not opened up to competition between manufacturers from the start. That had been attempted at the TT Zero on the Isle of Man, and produced runaway victories for the Mugen riders. The performance disparity between the various bikes was simply too great.
That is unlikely to change until the major motorcycle manufacturers start producing electric motorcycles in sizable quantities and in power outputs equivalent to the current crop of large capacity road bikes. So far, movement on that front has been slow, despite companies like KTM and Yamaha venturing into electric offroad bikes and scooters.
Which means that the replacement for Energica will not be any form of open competition. Instead, another company will be brought in as single supplier.
Who that is is an intriguing prospect. While there are a number of small-scale builders of electric motorcycles, the challenges of providing the logistical and engineering support for an 18-bike race series are beyond the means of most of them. Any manufacturer wishing to supply MotoE will face many challenges, in terms of scale of production, and support for the 18 riders and teams on the grid. That requires a level of staffing which most small electric bike manufacturers do not possess.
Could Energica be replaced by a major or medium-sized manufacturer? That is an intriguing possibility. We will not have long to wait to find out. The cycle of press releases in such instances means there is usually just a few days before the old supplier announcing they are leaving, and a new supplier being announced. Misano, the scene of the finale of the 2021 MotoE season, would seem a fitting occasion for such an announcement.
The press release from Dorna appears below:
Energica to conclude era as single MotoE™ manufacturer after 2022
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
Dorna Sports can now announce the departure of Energica Motor Company as the single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, with 2022 confirmed as the marque’s final season.
Energica has been the sole supplier to MotoE™ since the Cup’s inception in 2019, with 2022 now set to mark the last chapter of a four-year journey full of evolution, excitement and adrenaline. Energica has been a key part of making MotoE™ a must-watch showcase for both electric mobility and close competition, with the Cup racing at some of the world’s most iconic circuits.
The Energica Ego Corsa has proved to be fast, extremely reliable and well-appreciated by the riders who have taken part in the Cup, and will doubtless continue to impress next season before the collaboration between Energica and MotoE™ then concludes. The work done both at the track and at company headquarters has seen constant innovation and new solutions drive MotoE™ to the incredible level it is at now, with Energica showing an ability to react quickly to challenges and different technical requests in record time. The joint effort between all parties has been key developing a competition that will now move into a new era built on a foundation all involved can take immense pride in having constructed together.
Dorna Sports would like to thank Energica for their immeasurable contribution to the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup and wishes the company the best of success in their future endeavours after 2022.
Livia Cevolini, CEO of Energica Motor Company: "We are extremely happy at Energica to have provided our invaluable contribution to make MotoE the success it is today. We’re confident that our initiative and efforts have generated plenty of interest from the big OEMs to follow the path we started a decade ago. Being pioneers of electric mobility on two wheels, we have opened up the way to a whole new strata of sustainable and exciting motorcycle racing and – as we have always done – we now aim at testing ourselves with new challenges. This is why we are looking forward to the next big thing to come! We would like to thank Dorna Sports for the great opportunity to showcase our technology and we are looking forward to wrapping up our journey together in style."
Nicolas Goubert, Executive Director of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup: "The first three seasons of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup have delivered an incredible show despite all the unforeseen external challenges that have been thrown at us. It wasn’t an easy task to undertake and one very new in many aspects, but we did it and this was thanks to a joint effort between all parties involved. From the very beginning, Energica has brought its know-how to the track in a way we couldn’t be happier with, delivering a package that has proved to be extremely competitive, showing impressive maximum speed (exceeding 260km/h in Barcelona in 2021), and lap-times that on some occasion were in line with other classes – despite the much shorter history of electric motorcycles.
"Maybe even more impressive than the on-track performance was the bike reliability, as none of the 18 riders ever encountered any mechanical failure during any of the races we enjoyed in the three seasons. Their ability to respond quickly and effectively to our requests and the ones coming from the riders and teams are proof of all the expertise and passion they brought to the series. All sides are committed to continuing giving their maximum effort into 2022, for what will be another spectacular year of racing. I would really like to thank Energica for the quality of their innovative products and their engagement in the MotoE series."