The MotoE series is off and running after a devastating fire that destroyed the entire MotoE paddock. The spec series runs with a field comprised solely of Energic Ego bikes. Presently, there are no plans to open up the series to other makes of bikes. But Honda and Aprilia are watching and waiting.
Under the right circumstances, perhaps MotoE could move away from being a spec series. Speaking at a press conference, Honda MotoGP technical boss Takeo Yokoyama said electric motorcycle racing could be the future and that Honda was following the series very carefully.
“From Honda’s point of view, it [electric racing] can be the future. We cannot deny this, and that’s why we have some interest and [are looking at] what is happening in MotoE very carefully.
“But if you ask me if Honda is ready to do it immediately, we have to say no at the moment, because we are Honda Motor [Company]. If we decide to go ahead with this type of championship, we want to do it properly – not halfway, or just starting because we have to start like this.”
“There are of course some technologies inside Honda, but to be properly racing we are not ready to do it, and until we are ready we don’t want to immediately go ahead into that championship.”
So Honda has an interest in electric motorcycle racing but wants to approach it carefully and with the right technology.
In that vein, Aprilia has a similar viewpoint. Aprilia MotoGP Racing Manager Romano Albesiano said it was unlikely that Aprilia will consider entering MotoE until battery technology advances.
“Well, talking from Piaggio’s [point of view], Piaggio is fully involved in electric [and] hybrid development of motorcycling and we have the technology.”
“Unfortunately the limit of the technology itself in the field of sport motorcycles is still quite low, and despite all the effort a company can do the technology is [not] there. So really I still believe it’s too early for having a sport motorcycle for customers and as well for races.”
“It’s good MotoE has started together with MotoGP as an experiment just to show the technology level, but we also know from them that it’s not easy.”
“The energy density of the battery today is nothing compared to the fuel tank. That’s the [sticking] point, and unless there is a real technological step in that area this [won’t change] the [current] situation.”
So both Honda and Aprilia say they are keeping an eye on the MotoE series. But from their standpoints, the technology must advance further for them to become involved in an electric motorcycle series.
At least from the viewpoint of Honda and Aprilia, it looks like the MotoE series will remain a single manufacturer spec one. The racing has been good so far, but does the series need the participation of other major manufacturers to thrive? Time will tell.
Featured photo: MotoGP