Do you believe that electric motorcycling isn’t exciting? Then you probably haven’t sat in the saddle of this e-superbike before. Meet the Ego of the Italian brand Energica.
Things are going fast in the car industry. More and more brands are switching to fully electric cars, so it’s not surprising that motorcycle manufacturers are also looking into the possibilities in this area. However, there isn’t too much action on the market yet and most of the energy in this area is probably still consumed in the various R&D departments. If you’re looking for a touch of electrical tension, you have to focus on relatively young players as a motorcyclist. One of these is the Italian brand Energica. It is actually not surprising that they throw themselves on this ‘mission’, bringing electric motorcycles to motorcyclists. Energica is located in Emilia-Romagna, the region in Italy where everything revolves around speed. It is the breeding ground for manufacturers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, Dallara, Maserati and Ducati. Emilia-Romagna is also full of different circuits and also the place where the fastest electric motorcycle in production is built, the Ego.
It’s hardly surprising that Energica originated in this area. Behind the fully electric motorcycle brand is the CRP Group, a company founded in 1970 by Roberto Cevolini. He was involved in the production of parts for Formula 1, which is still CRP’s expertise. The passion for speed and racing also keeps the company engaged with two-wheelers. After racing for a while with 125cc two-strokes, they took a completely different direction in 2009. They’re building an electric racer that will take them into the TTXGP. It’s a first attempt to set up a fully-fledged e-championship, but unfortunately it appears too early for such a competition. The electric adventure of the CRP Group seemed to be stranded quickly. Livia Cevolini, the daughter of founder Roberto, thought differently about it and saw an opportunity to put all the development they’ve done in a new motorcycle brand. Energica was born and in 2014 the Ego was born. It’s the first electric superbike that is ‘just’ for sale in a showroom. Since the introduction of the Ego, the Italians have of course not been sitting still. In recent years, the line-up has expanded with the arrival of several new models (Eva Ribelle and EsseEsse) and they started supplying Ego Corsas (circuit version of the Ego) for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, the championship for electric racers established by Dorna. Participation in this class is not only important to put the brand on the map, it also boosts Energica’s development. Next year the public will already be able to see that on the street with the arrival of the Ego+ RS, an ultra-sporty variant of Energica's e-superbike.
However, we're still not there yet, so for now we’ll go on a first date with a standard version of the Ego, although we can hardly call that a punishment. This 'normal' e-superbike is able to generate a power of 145 horsepower, in combination with an incredible torque of 200 newton meters. Result: a motorcycle that is extremely fast. The Ego accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 2.9 seconds. It is a real sensation to pull all that power from the Energica. Strange too, because normally you expect to receive a howling sound and you are working like crazy with your left foot to switch gears as optimally as possible. Of course, this is all missing from the e-superbike. In one go you ride past every opponent. A little downside: The Ego tempts you rather quickly to continuously use that acceleration boost and that is not very useful on this Italian. Because you will see the range shrinking by the minute.
The oil-cooled electric motor receives its energy from a large lithium-ion package that is good for 13.4 kilowatt hours. According to the manufacturer, you can cover a distance of 130 to 200 kilometers, if you do not let that right hand speak at every traffic light... By the way, the Ego is also available as a +, that version has a battery pack of 21.5 kWh and thus a longer range. That is a serious improvement compared to the introduction model in 2014, which was sent out with 11.7 kWh at the time. A quick calculation indicates that the battery capacity has increased by as much as 83.8 percent. Big difference, but unfortunately that also applies to the price of the Ego +. That is in fact a little over six thousand euros higher than a standard Ego…
Luckily, the TFT display indicates that we still have a lot of juice in the battery pack during this test ride. Time to put it to good use by finding some challenging cornering. Unfortunately, the ailing weather at this time of the year is not cooperating and the asphalt
barely gets up to temperature this day. The same therefore also applies to the Pirelli's, type Diablo Rosso III, which normally provide serious grip. Today we have to steer carefully, which unfortunately means that we cannot use the full potential of the Ego. However, it soon becomes apparent that the Energica has a great 'throttle response' (we need to find another term for e-motorcycles), which gives you a lot of control over the power input that you give the electric motor. It’s also clearly noticeable that the Energica carries the necessary weight. Only the battery pack is good for a hundred kilos, bringing the total to a whopping 258 kilos. They are not very eager to report this at Energica, as it is not mentioned anywhere on their website. The weight is especially disadvantageous when it comes to short turning work and special operations, but in corners where fast steering is needed, the Ego does a much better job. With confidence you can keep the e-superbike in line and can enjoy the good components they have mounted on this Energica. The Marzocchi fork and Bitubo monoshock at the rear do a good job. The same goes for the Brembo brakes. The radially hung
four-piston monoblocks bite firmly in the 330 mm discs, allowing you to build up the necessary braking pressure with ease. That way, it’s not difficult to bring the heavy Ego to a stop in time. It is also nice to know that the Italian e-superbike has the necessary electronics. ABS of course, but you will also find traction control and the different riding modes on the display. It takes a while to find out how to adjust this, but in the end it works flawlessly. The same goes for the cruise control. Perhaps an unnecessary tool, but nice in case you have a longer highway ride ahead.
After this test ride we can draw a simple conclusion. The Energica Ego is a serious sports bike, which gives you a completely different riding sensation than a “normal” superbike. If you want to try something different, then you've come to the right place with this Italian. The limited range can be a problem, but solutions can also be found there. For example in the form of the Ego+. This version provides a range of about 230 kilometers and that can even be up to 400 kilometers in urban use. Add to this the fact that the Ego can use the fast charging network and thus it is possible to gain a lot of range within half an hour. This disadvantageous point of an e-motor decreases over the years due to the development they make on this front. The Energica Ego stands for just under 25.000 euros at the dealership and that can be called solid. Pioneers, or early adopters (wonderful word), may be willing to pay such an amount for a new experience. Electric motorcycling is currently particularly interesting for entrepreneurs by the way, as they can receive the necessary tax benefits if they purchase an electric motorcycle. Which can end up making a difference of thousands of euros, therefore an Ego suddenly becomes a realistic option for them. Add a not too high cost per kilometer, because a single charge does not outweigh a pricey refueling stop for a petrol engine. The same goes for maintenance. The costs are also lower there. In this way Energica taps into a specific market and fortunately it appears to be large enough. The Italian player is growing every year and that can only be called positive.
In 2021, Energica will launch various models. In addition to the Ego, it will also be possible to choose the Eva Ribelle (naked) and the Eva Esseesse9 (retro). In addition to the standard versions, you can also get these three types in a + and +RS. As you may expect, you get the necessary extras. You will receive more torque (215 Nm) and a greater range thanks to the more powerful battery pack (21.5 kWh). The RS (Reparto Sportivo) has, among other things, mappings and thus manages an incredibly fast 0-100 km / h sprint. The RS can do it in 2.6 seconds! That speed comes at a price. The Ego+ RS is currently the most expensive Energica you can get with a price of € 31.990.
Engine - Permanent magnet AC motor, oil-cooled
Power - 145 hp @ 4,900 - 10,500 rpm
Torque - 200 Nm @ 0 - 4,700 rpm
Battery - 13.4 kWh
Frame - Steel truss frame
Front suspension - Marzocchi 43mm upside down
Rear suspension - Bitubo monoshock, spring preload and rebound damping
Front brakes - Brembo radial 4-piston monoblock calipers, dual 330mm discs
Electronics - Riding modes, regeneration modes, traction control, cruise control, park assistant
Height - 810 mm
Weight - 258 kilo