In the “Two steps forward, one step back” world of electric motorcycle racing, we might be seeing another of the periodical backwards steps. Dorna, the promoters behind MotoGP, have announced the end of Energica’s “single manufacturer” arrangement in the MotoE World Cup, and at this point, have not announced a new plan going forward.
Energica came into MotoE as the sole supplier for the 2019 season, running through 2020 and now ending the deal as 2021 ends. The company’s bikes were famously involved in a disastrous fire before the 2019 season, with much of the electric paddock destroyed in a garage fire at Jerez. However, since then, the bikes have proven to be extremely reliable on-track.
Here’s what MotoGP’s press release said:
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 … 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.
Well, that doesn’t sound like Energica is coming back as one of several manufacturers participating, does it?
Later, in the release, we get this from Energica CEO Livia Cevolini:
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.
Again, that sounds like it’s the end of the road for Energica’s participation. So the question is, what’s next?
It’s not as if MotoE has become a fan favourite, but make no mistake: Alternative energy is a key to MotoGP’s future plans. Although transporting the teams and race org personnel between events causes much more carbon emission than the actual on-track racing, it’s important to make the right signals in our current world of appearances, appearances, appearances.
So, perhaps MotoE is somehow morphing into a series that includes hydrogen or some other alternative energy source, or (and this is much more likely), MotoE is going to be taken over by some other manufacturer or manufacturers after 2022.
Here’s some wild speculation: After years of collaborating with MotoGP on Moto2 for years, Triumph could be about to debut an electric sportbike. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s something else entirely. Dorna surely will tell us soon, whatever the deal is.