On March 17, 2023, Ducati officially announced its presentation of the all-electric V21L prototype machine at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy. This bike represents Ducati’s first foray into the world of electric motorcycles, period; let alone electric race bikes. Beginning with the 2023 season, Ducati is now the sole supplier for the MotoE championship—which has also been designated with world championship status for the first time this year.
With technological developments in their current state, Ducati lists the V21L’s power as equivalent to 150 horsepower, and torque at 103.3 pound-feet. Total vehicle weight for the V21L is 225 kilograms (496 pounds), which is a full 12 kg (26.5 lbs) lighter than Dorna and the FIM’s current minimum requirements for an electric machine that can complete a full race distance. At Mugello, it has so far reached a speed of 170.9 miles per hour.
"The decision to participate in the MotoE World Championship as the sole supplier of the bikes is a cornerstone of the Ducati strategy. In fact, electrification, together with the introduction of carbon neutral fuels for internal combustion engines (e-fuel), will be necessary to reduce Ducati's carbon footprint and allow us to achieve our long-term sustainability goals,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said in a statement.
“However, every true Ducati is, above all, emotion, so it is very important to manage this transition very closely, taking care to maintain the sporty character and fun-to-ride characteristics of every Borgo Panigale bike,” he continued.
“With the V21L we wanted to challenge the limits of the sector by aiming to create the most performing electric motorcycle ever made for the track. Above all, we wanted to develop the Company's internal expertise to be ready when battery technology, in particular weight, will make it possible to create an electric street motorcycle with all the characteristics that distinguish a Ducati. Having 18 riders with different needs and riding styles on the track at the same time represents a great opportunity for Ducati to study what could become the character of a future electric Ducati,” Domenicali said.
“The first tests in Jerez went very well. Despite unfavourable weather, the feedback on the bike from the riders and teams was very good, with the new unofficial circuit record. Ducati has never built such a large number of prototypes and this too represents a challenge within a challenge for us,” he concluded.
That first round of testing took place at the beginning of March, and the next round is set to take place in Barcelona on April 3 through 5, 2023. Those are the only two pre-season testing weekends scheduled in 2023. The MotoE season officially kicks off at Le Mans at the French Grand Prix, and will run on May 13, 2023. A total of 18 riders fielded by nine teams will compete in this year’s MotoE world championship.