Motorcycles represent one of the most exciting, and potentially profitable, niches for EVs. Many motorsports enthusiasts predict that it’s only a matter of time before electrics two-wheelers totally dominate the racetrack. However, the potential for huge sales is found on the streets of the developing world, where a motorcycle is more likely to be an economical form of daily transport than a cure for a midlife crisis.
When Charged Associate Editor Markkus Rovito visited Italian manufacturer CRP, he found a company that is using the latest hi-tech manufacturing technology to the fullest, and that exemplifies how the lessons learned in the glamorous world of motorsports find their way into the more mundane world of consumer vehicles.
Located in Italy’s famous Motor Valley, the home of Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Ducati, CRP has leveraged its expertise with 3D-printed parts to produce a high-performance superbike, the Energica Ego. After taking first- and second-place finishes in several European championships, CRP put the racing agenda on hiatus.
“Actually, after a few months, the real idea was not to sell racing bikes, because the market is too little,” said company CFO Andrea Vezzani. “The volume quantities will be made from emerging markets, not from Italy. What’s Italian is a beautiful bike – a perfect bike from a precision point of view. All the experience we have in racing is now moved to the road bikes, and we put a lot of passion into our work.”
“If you’re going to race on Sunday, you need to have something to sell on Monday,” said Chris Nugent, the motorcycle aficionado-turned-ebike convert whom CRP has brought on to evangelize Energica in America. “That’s the whole purpose of racing, really. It’s competitive, but it’s got to have an economic logic to it.”