As of next years motoE season, that is 2023, Energica is stepping aside as a manufacturer for the electric superbikes and Ducati is taking over. Being part of the Audi group they obviously have plenty of knowledge of EV. And honestly the etron EV cars are quite impressive for several reasons. Here is some reading on the little information they revealed so far about these new motorcycles:
A while ago a video was shared by Ducati to show of tests of their new MotoE motorcycle. There was a very interesting glimpse of the dashboard. Ducati must have realised afterwards that it was revealing more than they wanted so they removed that part shortly after. Luckily the Internet is full of heroes and trolls that take screenshots of everything. This is the dashboard:
Just a few things this dashboard reveals. All of this is nothing but speculation, could be a print that they taped over an actual screen or a pre recorded interface showing. Or just wrong data from an unfinished development firmware. No promises were made. And even if any of this is true it will take at least 2 more years for such a motorcycle to make it on the road.
SOC is at 42% and cell voltage shows 3.764 and 3.780 mV. Nothing I can’t extract from that. Also lots of other numbers on the dash that I can’t even think of what they could represent.
Pack voltage is 724.x V so that indicates this is an 800V system rather than a 400V one. Similar to how for example a Porsche Taycan is running at 800V and a Mercedes EQA, EQC or EQV at 400V. This results in lower Amp values going through the wires for the same amount of power. Similar to how the American 110V requires higher A values for the same power as European 220V system does.
It also opens up for faster charging, however on a 20 kWh motorcycle that wasn’t really an issue to begin with. On cars most 400V cars have a charging limit of around 100 kW. While 800V systems can go up to 200 kW and higher. Energica is currently at 24 kW so still far away from 100 kW. Plus the voltage wouldn’t be the real issue when you charge a 20 kWh battery pack at 100 kW (that is 5C).
That brings us to what would be an issue, and in fact can already be noticed on current generation Energica motorcycles. When you ride them very fast or charge fast or combine these to you get a lot of heat build up in the battery. That results in 3 problems:
- When the battery gets hot the charging speed has to be reduced to protect the battery. These batteries are happy in a range of 0 to 45 °C.
- Since there is no active cooling the heat generated during one charge can’t make it’s way out so it will affect the next charge also.
- A battery pack that is really hot will need to reduce power output. The operating temperature of these batteries is a bit wider than the charging window, however mostly near the lower end. I believe 50 °C is the upper limit.
Energica has a cooling sytem on their bikes. Originally only on the inverter that provides power from the pack to the motor. The motor was just oil and air cooled, similar to how BMW boxer engines were originally air/oil cooled. For the current modelyear they have extended that cooling system over to the new EMCE motor. That resulted in a smaller and lighter motor that runs cooler and more efficient and also requires less maintenance. So win, win, win.
Below are 2 screenshots, one showing the older SS9 (on the right) and the new MY 2022 SS9+ (on the left). The newer models got a lot lighter thanks to the lighter battery pack (-10 kg) and the lighter motor (again -10 kg). From these pictures you can also clearly see how much smaller the new EMCE motor is compaired to the old one.
During the races itself Energica has fixed that by cooling the batteries with Makita leaf blowers and dry ice pushing really cold air into specially made ducts on the battery sides. That doesn’t work for the street model for several reasons. To begin with it wouldn’t be convenient to taken a leaf blower and dry ice with you on a motorcycle. But even worse is that you wouldn’t be able to reach the cells in the battery with that cold air because the street models don’t have that intake.
From the screenshot of the Ducati dash it looks like Ducati might have solved that by actively cooling the battery. There is a cell temperature that shows 33 °C and also a coolant temperature showing exactly the same 33 °C. Fingers crossed they made that happen and will take it to the street.