After electric vehicle company Ideanomics celebrated its successful acquisition of Italian electric motorcycle company Energica last month, the duo held an investor and analyst day at the Nasdaq this week. With Electrek In attendance, we heard firsthand from executives from both companies about how Energica’s cutting-edge technology will now benefit Ideanomics for other electric vehicle verticals, and vice versa.
Oh, and we also landed a pretty awesome ride on a 150hp electric motorcycle.
But first, the event began with a ceremonial ride of the three electric motorcycles from the Energica line.
While Energica is often known for its 150 mph (240 km/h) racing electric motorcycles, the company also produces streetfighter and roadster electric motorcycles.
The three models, including the Energica Ego, Energica Eva Ribelle and Energica EsseEsse9, traveled to Times Square with their pilots Stefano Benatti, CEO of Energica US, Shane Mcmahon, Executive Chairman of Ideanomics, and Robin Mackie, President of Mobility.
You can see it with my recap of the day in the video below.
One look at the sleek Italian race bikes would have you believe Energica is cutting edge in design. But in fact, the company has spent years perfecting its technology as a unique selling point, with a sophisticated proprietary Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) at the heart of every bike.
This VCU is wrapped in an extremely powerful 110 kW (150 hp) liquid-cooled motor and a high-capacity 21 kWh battery, but it’s really the technology that sets Energica apart and has made it such a valuable target for Ideanomics.
And that was by design. Energica CEO Livia Cevolini explained that based on the company’s Italian birthplace in the heart of Motor Valley, she knew that meant it had a reputation to match.
“When you grow up in the Italian Motor Valley, everyone expects you to be perfect. Because there are only perfect companies doing perfect things. some, we grew up watching Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ducati… and so what people expect from us, and what we expect from ourselves, is to be perfect. That’s what we’ve been striving for from the start.”
And while “perfect” is a pretty lofty goal to aim for, a quick look at the specs shows that Energica might be closer than anyone else right now. Livia did not hesitate on this point:
“We have the highest torque, the highest power, the longest range thanks to our unique 21.5 kWh battery on the market, and we have fast charging. We are now the only ones with the option for customers to choose between CHAdeMO and CCS protocols for fast charging. This means that we are able to offer fast charging in Europe, Asia and America. No other electric two-wheeler company in the world can offer this.
The company not only beats other electric motorcycles, but also crushes the best ICE models. For example, Energica bikes weigh less than a Hayabusa and yet deliver over 60% more torque.
The Italian motorcycle company’s performance lead has been around for years, but the company’s small size compared to heavyweights like Zero and Harley-Davidson has often kept it from receiving its fair share of the spotlight. But with impressive growth, including doubling from 50 to over 100 employees last year, and now the infusion of funding and support from Ideanomics, that looks set to change.
In fact, it seems that Ideanomics has just as much to benefit from Energica as the reverse. Funding from Ideanomics is essential to Energica’s expansion, but the company’s resources go beyond just capital. Ideanomics CEO Alf Poor explained how the two companies immediately began to benefit from each other.
“Semiconductors have been a problem for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a large global OEM or an Ideanomics family company. We were looking under the couch cushions for microchips and our supply chain teams were able to find them for Energica, avoiding a manufacturing shutdown. And when you think of a shutdown, it doesn’t just impact production. It impacts families and so much more. And so Ideanomics works hard, the fabric of what we do being that each company builds on each other.
And this two-way street will likely see Energica’s technology enter other Ideanomics-owned companies, such as its Solectrac electric tractors and Treeletrik electric scooters.
In fact, that’s the whole idea behind Energica’s new venture known as Energica Inside, which will help non-competing companies use Energica’s proprietary technology to start their own electric vehicles. Just as Polaris launched a revolutionary new RANGER XP Kinetic side-by-side using Zero Motorcycle’s electric drivetrain, Energica’s own technology could find its way into all manner of electric vehicles, from scooters to zambonies to anything your imagination can imagine.
Having had the chance to test a few of Energica’s electric motorcycles earlier this week, I can vouch for the drivetrains. They are an exciting combination of precision control and power. I’ll have more to say about my test drive experience soon, and I’ll be back with a video of the ride in a future post.
For now though, I can say I’ve seen what Ideanomics must have already known. In Italy’s Motor Valley, there’s an undervalued electric motorcycle company that makes bikes with the best performance in the world.
And perhaps even more impressively right now, they’re actually pumping vehicles despite the industry’s relentless supply chain crises.
As Energica US CEO Stefano Benatti explained to me, the company has doubled its 14 US dealers to 28, but hasn’t announced the new dealers yet as it’s still waiting for the bikes to hit stores:
“We don’t just want to put a pin on our website map and brag about having more dealers if we don’t have any bikes yet. We want customers to actually come and see the product, which is even more important to us. »
With more bikes expected to arrive in the US in the coming weeks, expect to see that dealership number grow rapidly – which is a good thing, because now I’m craving my next Energica ride!
Image credit: Getty
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