Ducati under power: the 2023 MotoE prototype!

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 Ducati reveals the technical details of the MotoE project in a video in which the prototype is presented by the team that oversaw its creation and development. Featuring the initials "V21L" in Borgo Panigale the first electric motorcycle by Ducati, a prototype that will be available from 2023 in the FIM MotoE™ World Cup where the motorcycle manufacturer from Bologna will be the sole supplier with 18 bikes on the track every race weekend.

2023 MotoE prototype

The MotoE project is strategic for Ducati as it Development of know-how for the future while maintaining the approach that has always fueled the DNA of the Bologna manufacturer: experimenting with technological solutions in the world of racing. Ducati later transfers the experience gained from this to the motorcycles intended for Ducatisti enthusiasts from all over the world.

a historic moment for Ducati

Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO: “A few weeks ago I had the extraordinary opportunity to ride the Ducati MotoE bike on the circuit and I immediately realized that I was witnessing a historic moment. The world is going through a complex phase and environmental sustainability is an element that every individual and every company must consider as a priority if we are to maintain the delicate balance of our planet. At Ducati, we recognized this need and set out in search of a challenge that would allow us to contribute to the common goal of reducing CO₂ emissions while staying true to our racing DNA.

We were determined to create the most powerful electric motorcycle imaginable with current technology and to use this project as a laboratory paving the way into the future. The result is surprising. Sitting on the bike I recognized the quality of the work done by the team. The moment I got back in the pits I felt a deep sense of pride for what we have achieved on this project.”

Team with exceptional mix of skills

For the production of the MotoE prototype, the motorcycle manufacturer from Bologna assembled a team consisting of designers from Ducati and Ducati Corse and a truly exceptional mix of skills. The development of the motorcycle followed the usual process for production motorcycles, which led to close cooperation between the individual employees. This technologically demanding project gave rise to new thinking and design ideas. Task sharing and constant dialogue between team members were fundamental throughout the process.

The Ducati Research and Development department took care of all project management activities as well as the development and simulation of the electric powertrain. The design of the MotoE motorcycle was dated Centro Stile Ducati who also designed the paintwork for the motorcycle. Ducati Corse, on the other hand, worked on the development of the electronic components, on the software control and its strategies, on the simulations of the dynamics and aerodynamics of the bike and finally on the assembly of the bike, the tests and the data acquisition.

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The result so far is already very satisfactory: Ducati's MotoE motorcycle has a Total weight of 225 kg (12kg less than the minimum required by Dorna and FIM for a motorcycle capable of completing the race distance). The maximum output is 110 kW (150 hp) and the maximum torque is 140 Nm. Speeds of 275 km/h are thus possible on a route like Mugello (Italy).

Supplier to the FIM MotoE™ World Cup?

Vincenzo De Silvio, Director of Research and Development at Ducati: “For Ducati, the opportunity to become a supplier to the FIM MotoE™ World Cup is not only a technologically exciting venture, but also the best way to meet the challenges of the new millennium. Racing is the ideal terrain for the development of innovative technologies that can then be transferred to production motorcycles. The most important challenges in this area are still the size, the weight, the possible range of the batteries and the availability of charging networks. Ducati's experience in the FIM MotoE™ World Cup will provide significant support to product research and development, as well as the physiological evolution of technology and chemistry. Boosting the company's in-house know-how today is essential to be ready when the time comes to put Ducati's first electric road machine into production.”

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The mix of expertise, passion and hard work of the Ducati MotoE team have resulted in Creation of an electric motorcycle with unique technical solutions guided. Starting with the battery, the most important component in terms of mass and dimensions, which on Ducati's MotoE machine is characterized by a specially designed shape that follows the natural curve of the central area of ​​the bike. The battery pack weighs 110 kg and has a capacity of 18 kWh with a 20 kW charging socket integrated into the rear. Inside are 1.152 cylindrical cells of type "21700".

Maximum speed of 18.000 rpm

The built Inverters is derived from a high-performance model used in electric vehicle racing, with its low weight of 5 kg, during the Motor (21 kg weight and a maximum speed of 18.000 rpm) was developed by a subcontractor according to Ducati technical specifications. The whole system is based on a voltage of 800 V (when the battery is fully charged) to maximize the performance of the electric powertrain and therefore performance and range. One of the most advanced technical solutions tested on Ducati's MotoE machine concerns this cooling system.

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Efficient double circuit liquid system

The components of the prototype are distinguished by a special sophisticated and efficient liquid system with double circuit chilledadapted to the different thermal requirements of the battery and the motor/inverter unit. This guarantees very even temperatures, which is not only a great advantage for the constant delivery of power, but also for the charging times. It is not necessary to cool the battery to start charging: Ducati's MotoE machine can be charged immediately after returning to the pits.

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It takes about 45 minutes to reach up to 80% range. The battery's carbon case also functions as part of the chassis. This construction is reminiscent of that of the Ducati Panigale V4, where the engine is a supporting element and is connected to an aluminum monocoque front frame that weighs just 3,7 kg. The rear consists of a 4,8 kg aluminum swingarm with a geometry similar to that of the Ducati Desmosedici used in MotoGP. The rear subframe, which integrates the rear end and the driver's seat, is made of carbon.

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The suspension consists of a Öhlins NPX 25/30 upside down gas fork with a standpipe diameter of 43 mm. This suspension fork comes from the Superleggera V4. At the rear there is an Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber that is fully adjustable. The steering damper is also fully adjustable and is also made by Öhlins.

Brake system from Brembo

The Bremsanlage is supplied by Brembo and designed for the specific needs of Ducati's MotoE machine. Two steel discs with a diameter of 338,5 mm are installed at the front. The thickness of the brake discs varies between 6,8 and 7,4 mm. The inner ring has cooling fins to increase the surface area and thus better dissipate heat under extreme conditions of use on the track. Two GP4RR M4 32/36 brake calipers are installed, which are operated via a PR19/18 radial brake pump. On the rear wheel, the P34 brake caliper acts on a single disc with a diameter of 220 mm and a thickness of 5 mm, which is controlled by a PS13 brake pump. Teams can also equip their bikes with an optional rear brake control on the left handlebar, which the rider can use as an alternative to the foot brake.

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Roberto Canè, Ducati eMobility Director: “I still remember the birth of the MotoE project and every phase of the team formation, involving colleagues from Ducati Corse and looking for contacts within the Volkswagen Group that gave us ideas for the development of this project can give. In developing this bike we followed the same process that we normally use for a production bike. We started by defining the design of the bike. At the same time, the technical office began designing the various vehicle components. The original brief was to develop a race bike that met the minimum performance specifications required by Dorna. In the end, the whole team fell in love with this project. It was a motivation for us to develop a motorcycle with even better characteristics than originally requested by the organizer.”

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That was also part of the development of Ducati's MotoE machine Ducati Corse test team under the direction of Marco Palmerini, which worked on the track using the same methods as in MotoGP, also thanks to the support of drivers Michele Pirro, Alex De Angelis and Chaz Davies. By working on the electronics, a throttle response should be achieved that is similar to that of an internal combustion engine. The responsiveness of the electronic controls (such as Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Slide Control, Ducati Wheelie Control and the throttle/brake mappings) should not differ from that of the racing bikes that Ducati riders are used to.

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The efficiency of the cooling system facilitated the development work on the race track by reducing the charging times to a minimum and realizing a very considerable service life for an electric motorcycle. The test team was able to apply the development and testing methodology of the MotoGP project with a precise sequence of tests on the different components to improve the bike's performance. The development work included special training and education for all employees involved, using knowledge shared within the Volkswagen Group to ensure the absolute safety of drivers and technicians.

Ducati is part of the Volkswagen Group

Ducati's membership of the Volkswagen Group, which has made electromobility an essential element of its "New Auto" 2030 strategy, is the best premise for an extraordinary exchange of know-how in the field of electric propulsion. Ducati is in close contact with the Group's competence centers and the Center of Excellence (CoE) in Salzgitter, Germany, but also with other Group brands such as Porsche and Lamborghini. The work plan of Ducati's MotoE project has already reached an advanced stage of development and is moving rapidly towards 2023, the year in which Ducati will assume the role of sole supplier of the FIM MotoE™ World Cup with 18 electric motorcycles.

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The next goal of the Bologna manufacturer is to take advantage of the participation in the world's most important competition for electric motorcycles to experiment with innovative technologies, train new skills and study how to develop a Ducati electric vehicle as soon as technology allows , which is sporty, light and exciting and can satisfy all enthusiasts.

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Ducati under the power: 2023 MotoE prototype!
Photo credit: Ducati
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