MotoE: a first comparison between the bikes of Ducati and of Energica

MotoE: a first comparison between the bikes of Ducati and of Energica
Ducati MotoE for the World Cup 2023
Ducati MotoE for the World Cup 2023 (Photo: Ducati)

Thanks to the data released by Ducati regarding its MotoE, it is possible to make a first comparison between the prototype of Borgo Panigale and the model of Energica, the one of the 2022 season of the MotoE World Cup. This is the first of a series of posts in which we will compare the two motorbikes.

For those who only now discover the MotoE World Cup, let's make a brief introduction. The MotoE World Cup is the electric class of MotoGP, a single-make championship of electric motorcycles that takes place over a selected number of rounds in conjunction with the other classes of the world championship. The first edition took place in 2019 and for four years, until 2022, the motorbike manufacturer was the Italian Energica Motor Company. From 2023 until 2026, Dorna Sport, the promoter of the championship, has chosen Ducati as the supplier of the 18 bikes participating in the championship. End of introduction.
For those wishing to know other details of the MotoE World Cup, this is the link to the dedicated section (the MotoE World Cup)

Ducati MotoE for the World Cup 2023
Ducati MotoE for the World Cup 2023 (Photo: Ducati)

A few days ago, Ducati presented its MotoE prototype to the specialized press and has released some data and specifications of the first electric motorbike in its history. It is thus possible to make a first comparison between the prototype of the Borgo Panigale company and the model of Energica used in the 2022 season of the MotoE World Cup. Of the latter we know a lot about the design, components and performance while the Ducati prototype is still to be discovered, except for some information released by Ducati in the first presentation of its electric prototype.
Before going into the details of the data, a clarification is necessary: ​​the MotoE by Energica is the development of its street sports model, the Ego, while the MotoE of Ducati is a pure prototype, created specifically for racing. The motorbike of Energica followed a development similar to a Superbike while the Ducati prototype follows a development closer to that of a MotoGP. Having said that, let's move on to the detailed analysis of the two bikes.
Let's start with the overall data of the bike. Ducati's V21L (this is the provisional name) has a maximum power of 150HP, a maximum torque of 140Nm and a weight of 225kg. The highest speed recorded during the tests at Mugello was 275km/h while the acceleration from 0 to 100km/h is similar to that of a MotoGP, i.e. around 2,6 seconds.

Infographic - Ducati's performance MotoE

The bike of Energica has a maximum power of 163CV, a maximum torque of 200Nm and a weight, in the 2022 version, of 242kg. To this value must then be added 5kg of external components, such as the on-board cameras, the related cables, and the TV control unit. The maximum speed measured at Mugello was 268km/h (275km/h with the slipstream) during the recent Italian GP. In terms of 0-100km/h acceleration, the value is the same as the Ducati prototype.

Infographic - the performance of the MotoE di Energica

Speaking of electric motorcycles, it is important to note that the power and torque values ​​are electronically fixed, they are not the real limits of the powertrain. At the software level, for example, the power value could be increased but this would lead to greater battery consumption and therefore a reduction in the range of the motorbike. The battery is the key element of an electric motorcycle, the viceversa of a traditional motorcycle in which the main element is the engine.
The battery of the MotoE by Energica has a capacity of just over 20kWh and weighs, including the shockproof metal casing, about 120kg. Ducati declares 18kWh of capacity and a weight of 110kg including the carbon casing. The design of the two batteries is radically different. The one of Energica is made up of pouch cells and works at 400V while that of Ducati is made up of 1152 cylindrical cells of the '21700' type with a voltage of 800V.

The battery and the electric motor of the MotoE of Ducati
The battery and the electric motor of the MotoE by Ducati (Photo: Ducati)

Another substantial difference is the cooling system, an extremely critical element in electric motorcycles. In a traditional motorbike, the cooling system is an auxiliary system of the engine which has the relatively easy task of removing heat from an object above 100°C, through a fluid (air or water), which on average is between 25 and 35°C. For an electric battery the same function is more critical because the latter must work in an extremely reduced temperature range to have the best performance and not to be damaged. Usually, but this value varies based on the chemistry of the cells, a battery must stay below 50-60°C, a value not much higher than the fluid used to cool it.

The double cooling circuit of the MotoE of Ducati
The double cooling circuit of the MotoE by Ducati (Photo: Ducati)

The battery of Energica is air-cooled; an intake on the left side of the bike conveys the air inside the battery itself, to make it directly cool the cell connections, the part with the highest temperature. The Ducati battery, on the other hand, is water-cooled through a cooling circuit similar to that of a traditional motorcycle. How the cooling takes place inside the battery has not yet been disclosed by Ducati, but it is very likely that the water, through a series of plate heat exchangers, cools the cylindrical cells.

The air cooling system of the battery of the MotoE by Energica
The air cooling system of the battery of the MotoE by Energica

Another substantial difference between the two batteries is the shape. The unity of Energica is a parallelepiped wrapped in a trellis frame while, on the MotoE of Ducati, the shape of the battery follows that of the bike and the casing of the battery pack, made of carbon fiber, also acts as a stressed part of the chassis.

Two prototypes of the MotoE Ducati during track tests
Two prototypes of the Ducati MotoE during the tests on track (Photo: Ducati)

The galley of the Ducati MotoE

As for the electric motor, we only know that the Ducati one weighs 21 kg and has a maximum rotation speed of 18000 rpm. Asked directly to Ducati about the technology adopted for their electric motor, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer replied that at the moment the information is confidential and is not disclosed. The inverter adopted by Ducati has a weight of 5 kg, and is a unit derived from a high performance model used in motorcar racing; the maximum efficiency it can achieve is 99%. Based on this data, we can assume a maximum efficiency of the inverter and motor powertrain of approximately 96%. Both motor and inverter are water-cooled.

The electric motor of Ducati's V21L
The electric motor of Ducati's V21L

The motors adopted by Energica over these four years in MotoE are of two types. From 2019 to 2021 the motor was of the PMSM type (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) of 40kg and 10300rpm. From this year the engine is the EMCE model, installed on all road models of Energica. This motor is of the reluctance type, weighs 10kg less than the previous one and has a maximum rotation speed of 11000 rpm.
The first model ensured a peak efficiency of 95%, which, combined with that of the inverter (92%), brought the overall efficiency of the powertrain to 87%. The new 2022 motor features 97% peak efficiency as well as having a wider high efficiency operating range. The efficiency of the new inverter is 97%, thus bringing the overall efficiency to 94%, seven percentage points more than the previous system.

The galley of the MotoE by Energica

In the next days we will publish further posts of analysis of the MotoE of Ducati and that of Energica.

The on-track test of Ducati's electric prototype

The viceo of the Ducati MotoE in action at the Vallelunga circuit (Source: Ducati)

Photo and video: Ducati

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