The MotoE World Cup is approaching the San Marino GP, the third round of the season, at the Marco Simoncelli circuit in Misano Adriatico. The MotoE relies on an ultra-proven organization of Dorna, which developed it for the other classes of the world championship. At the same time, however, the MotoE is a completely new class, with features never tested. While in the petrol bike world championship, organizational and regulatory changes take place yearly, the MotoE evolves at every race. Despite the fact that the competition has not yet reached half of the scheduled races, many things have already changed since the first time the Ego Corsa bikes were on track at Jerez, on last November.
The original scenario was with the teams hosted in a dedicated paddock with the motorcycle boxes and related charging systems under the same shelter. Moreover, on the roof, there was a series of solar panels to supply part of the energy needed for the motorcycle batteries; the energy balance was taken from the national electric grid along with a certification attesting it was from renewable sources. At the second pre-season test in Jerez de la Fronteira, a fire, probably ignited by a prototype charging station, destroyed the entire paddock, the bikes and the equipment of all teams. We asked Nicolas Goubert, the executive director of the MotoE World Cup, to explain what improvements have been introduced starting from that experience.
Goubert told us that the first decision was to separate boxes and charging area: "We decided not to keep all the eggs in the same basket anymore". To supply the motorcycle batteries with energy, the teams have now to move the bikes from the boxes to a dedicated area that houses the charging systems and the solar panels. In this case, a possible fire would involve a single bike and not all those present, as happened in Jerez. The second decision was to hire a permanent professional fire brigade always the same for all season, especially trained for Li-ion battery fire.
The further step of the evolution of MotoE will be the new generation charging stations provided by EnelX, the Official Smart Charging Partner of the Cup. From the first tests, it was observed that the electrical system of some circuits was not fit to recharge more than 3 or 4 motorcycles simultaneously in the fast charging mode. It was therefore decided to develop a station with an integrated 50kWh battery, which is slowly recharged from the circuit's electrical network and then it quickly transfers the energy to the bike's battery during fast charge phase (from 20 to 30 minutes). These new stations should be available for the last event of the MotoE , in Valencia. Until then, the first generation stations will be used in conjunction with auxiliary biodiesel generators to integrate the circuit's electrical grid and prevent it from being overloaded. Also in Valencia, the solar panels mounted on the rack above the columns will be in operation.
Other steps forward of MotoE World Cup will be the buke chargers, mobile units that will recharge the bikes after the sighting lap to the 100% of the battery and thus be able to extend the races by one lap compared to what has been done so far. There is no certain date, but it could be in November in Valencia.
On the motorbike side, at the Austrian GP we saw new air ducts on the front wheel to increase the cooling of the brakes (supplied by the German Motocoach), while a dedicated technical service has been set up to support the teams by Brembo and Ohlins (through Andreani Group).