Ducati's view on alternative fuel sources

MCN recently have a special pull-out section on next generation fuels for bikes. Electric is the current trend but they also talked about the other options. They interviewed Claudio Domenicali (Ducati CEO) who has some interesting things to say:

“In five to ten years there will not be a battery that is good enough for a touring motorcycle.”

“Range is about weight. You can have the range now, if you have a 350Kg motorcycle.”

“[solid state battery] weight saving is between 30%-50% and energy density improves by 1.5 to 1.6 times…[but] will not be available until around the end of the decade. It means you might be able to do a good Streetfighter or sportsbike but it will still be more difficult for a touring bike. You need another generation again, which is not foreseen.”

But he also said (in an article about efuels and MotoGP) regarding high performance bikes for the road:

“It’s a fight between electric, hydrogen and efuel. depending on the progression rate of batteries. so with the battery we know now and for the next ten years, it’s a no-go. You cannot make anything comparable to a current Panigale, so efuel is the only way to go. We have a battery coming that will give an increase in energy of 30%-50% but that’s still not enough.”

Make your mind up, Claudio.

On hydrogen:

“There is a solution with small bottles where you can change a bottle. For sportsbikes this is very interesting.”

“It is one of our open fields. The best thing would be if the politicians gave a kind of technological neutrality, then there willl not be one solution that fits all.”

And finally, the big four Japanese have formed a technological research association (HySE), pooling their R&D resources to develop hydrogen-fuelled combustion engines and fuel systems for motorcycles.

The future of motorcycling may or may not be bright but it sure seems complicated.

1 Like

I think he makes some very good points regarding motorcycles and the weight problem associated with applying batteries to bikes.

I think the way the UK legislation is written means that internal combustion as a whole is banned from 2035 - even allowing for alternative fuels - so it’s either battery or hydrogen electric or nothing.

I believe the EU on the other hand have allowed for alternative fuels after pressure from the German car makers. I would expect (hope) that the UK will follow suit in due course.