Energica wants MotoE to be multi-brand as Ducati makes veiled dig at rival

Energica CEO Livia Cevolini suggests MotoE needs to become an open formula to encourage electric innovation as successors Ducati drops a cheeky dig

MotoE Energica Ego

Energica CEO Livia Cevolini has explained the reasons behind her company bowing out of a deal with Dorna to supply the MotoE World Cup at the end of the 2022 season, saying the exposure has been invaluable but that it has alternative ambitions moving forward.

The Italian start-up was only founded in 2014 but in seven years has established a niche with a high-end range - the Ego sportsbike and Eva roadster - that have made big technological advances with its second generation models, while its profile has soared on the back of its involvement in MotoE, which debuted on the MotoGP support programme in 2019.

However, Energica won’t renew the deal from 2023 with Ducati announced as the surprise selection from the FIM and Dorna’s newest tender.

Though delighted at Energica’s growth thanks to MotoE exposure, Cevolini admits the supply was a big commitment financially, money it can now channel into new projects.

“The experience has been absolutely positive in all areas . Because it was a launching pad, both for us in particular and for the electric motorcycle industry in general. It was the first time, on a motorcycle, that a large company like Dorna and MotoGP got involved in the electrical sector. 

“I want us to do something else. We have always tried new avenues that weren't yet explored.We are a growing business and if we stop we are dead . We have to be the first to do something new. What scares me is that we are staying in our comfort zone.”

Admitting she was unaware Ducati - which would be its clearest rival if it launched an electric model - was being lined up to succeed Energica, Cevolini indicated some surprise given the firm’s negative opinions in previous years 

She admits she expected the class to move away from a control formula to an open one - such as the four-wheel Formula E World Championship -  in order to encourage electric technology development among manufacturers.

“It's true that Domenicali's comments weren't always positive, but it's part of her DNA: to say one thing and then to do the opposite . They just have to make a motorcycle at the required level of reliability and make sure they all work the same way, but what the market demands is that the big brands get involved.”

Did Ducati just make a dig at Energica?

Ducati, meanwhile, appeared to send Energica a veiled dig after Claudio Domenicali told Cycle World MotoE will become ‘important’ now with its involvement.

“I think it’s a huge chance, because for the first time the supplier of the MotoE championship will be a manufacturer that has the technology to place three motorbikes on the first row in MotoGP. With this involvement we are sure that the MotoE will become something important.”

However, Cevolini retorts to this by saying she knows Ducati has purchased Energica models to study them, adding it will have more than 10 years of a head start to its advantage. 

“The advantage is that, thanks to our ten years of experience, we will always be one step ahead of Ducati.

“It's good that they are going their own way, even though I know they have our bikes in their factory that they are studying.”