Ducati’s first electric motorcycle gets a massive 18kWh battery; will be raced in the FIM MotoE World Cup next year.
Details have emerged about Ducati’s very first electric bike, the V21L, which will be raced in the FIM MotoE World Cup from next year. The MotoE grid has been supplied by Italian electric bike maker, Energica, ever since its inception in 2019 and now Ducati is set to take its place from 2023. Ducati’s first stab at an electric motorcycle, project ‘V21L,’ is set to spearhead the creation of a road-going electric bike from the Borgo Panigale-based manufacturer.
Ducati aims to create a road-going electric bike with this project
Sole supplier to the MotoE grid from 2023
Electric motor makes 150hp, 140Nm of torque (claimed)
Ducati V21L electric motorcycle: powertrain
The battery pack is, arguably, the most integral part of an electric motorcycle’s powertrain and this Ducati sports a massive 18kWh unit. On its own, the battery weighs 110kg (in a bike that weighs 225kg as a whole) and the bike’s tail has an integrated 20kW charging socket.
The motor powering this bike weighs 21kg and is good for a claimed 150hp and 140Nm of torque. With a maximum rotation speed of 18,000rpm, this motor revs higher than even the rev-happy 600cc sportbikes from Japan.
Ducati says that the cooling system sports a “double circuit design designed to meet the thermal needs of the battery pack and inverter unit”. In fact, Ducati even claims it’s not necessary to wait for the battery pack to cool down to start the charging process. The battery can be charged as soon as the bike enters the pits, taking about 45 minutes to reach 80 percent of its claimed range.
Ducati has claimed that their MotoE prototype has achieved a top speed of 275kph at the Mugello Circuit.
While Ducati hasn’t mentioned any range figures, it is apparent from its intended usage that it will need to be able to complete a MotoE race on a single charge. MotoE races are typically about 35km long. A 110kg battery pack to cover this sort of distance gives you an idea of just how much catching up electric mobility and battery tech needs to do, when compared to petrol power.
Ducati V21L electric motorcycle: chassis and hardware
This is one area where the V21L prototype has quite a bit in common with other Ducati machines. The aluminium front monocoque frame, weighing just 3.7kg, is not unlike one found on a road-going Ducati Panigale V4. The Ducati MotoGP machine, though, goes down a different path, with a traditional twin-spar aluminium frame.
Even the carbon-fibre casing of the battery on the V21L acts as a stressed member of the frame. The rear swingarm has also been created with learnings from the Desmosedici racing prototype used in MotoGP, while being made entirely of aluminium resulting in a weight of just 4.8kg.
Suspension duties, like on any other top-spec racing Ducati, are handled by Swedish experts, Ohlins. The front fork is an Ohlins NPX 25/30 43mm diameter inverted unit (exactly the same specification as the Superleggera V4), paired to an adjustable Ohlins steering damper to aid stability at high speeds. The rear monoshock is a fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit.
The braking hardware is top-notch as well, provided entirely by Brembo. The front features two massive steel discs with a diameter of 338.5mm (same size as on the WSBK grid and larger than you get on any road bike). These discs also have fins on the inner diameter to aid cooling under extreme usage on track. Biting down on these positively gargantuan discs are Brembo GP4RR M4 calipers paired to a radial master cylinder. At the rear, a 220mm disc is clamped down upon by a single-piston Brembo P34 caliper.
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