The world’s most popular motorcycle racing series is adding an all-electric class. Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of the company that oversees the MotoGP racing series, told Motorsport.com that an electric support series featuring up to 18 bikes could start competing as early as 2019.
Four manufacturers have already committed to the series, according to Ezpeleta. The electric motorcycles will have a top speed of around 124 miles per hour, and the races will be about 10 laps long.
Electric bikes are catching up to their petrol-powered counterparts
Electric motorcycles have been around long enough that the MotoGP class won’t be the first time they’ve seen serious competition. What started in 2010 as a zero-emissions class at the yearly Isle of Man TT motorcycle race is now dominated by electric bikes, and they’re quickly catching up to their gas-powered counterparts. (We got to see this transition happen up close when we visited the competition in 2015.)
Other motorsport disciplines are embracing electric vehicles, too. Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, started the all-electric racing series Formula E in 2014, which is currently in the middle of its third season. Red Bull Global Rallycross recently announced it will add an all-electric class in 2018 as well. And the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has seen electric cars become a dominant force after being little more than a novelty just a few years ago.