Ducati has been rumoured for some time now to be inbound with EV bikes for the road, especially as they have become the EV bike of choice for the 2023 season of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup…but the brakes have been firmly placed on that enthusiasm as there appears to be a gulf between aspiration and technological foundation particularly in the battery department.
EV bikes are moving at an ever increasing rate of development and the mainstream manufacturers have been starting to enter the market and will progress even further over the next couple of years with the likes of Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda to launch EV bikes. Let alone the already establish EV bike manufacturers such as Zero and Energica.
The Chinese manufacturers have entered the race too and let’s not forget Indian manufacturers who have big plans for the coming years. Harley Davidson spin off company LiveWire have stuttered to get going however they have already one bike in production with another due to launch anytime soon, albeit there have been delays in final production and delivery to pre order customers.
Parent company Volkswagen AG have set the group of companies on an electrification course for the next few years but Ducati appear to be languishing behind although they all share and have access to technology for the EV endeavour.
However Ducati North America chief exec; Jason Chinnock recently stated: “It’s going to be some years,” Chinnock told Bloomberg Television on Thursday. “The battery technology really isn’t there.”
He further went on to state:
“There isn’t a consumer bike directly in development because this is still so early,” Chinnock said. “It’s really going to take battery tech to evolve.”
“Once that is evolved to the point where it makes sense for us to integrate it in, where we can address performance and range and weight, that’s the trifecta,” Chinnock said. “It still needs to be distinctly a Ducati.”
Now this is not to say that Ducati are not racing towards a greener future, far from it. Actually they are investigating the viability of alternative fuels which other manufacturers have also been looking into of late and some such as Triumph and KTM have been vocal in their reservations about the EV solution being the only game in town but rather seeking to promote the viability of alternative fuels such as bio, hydrogen or synthetic. Whilst these are still in infancy, not in terms of the applied technology but rather whether these can be produced in mass or efficiently. If the latter may be the case, then it would appear a parallel approach to a ‘green solution’ might be the best way forward and Ducati’s slow start may not be such a drawback in the end at all.