It’s a well known fact that electric vehicles are the way of the future. With people becoming more and more environmentally conscious, and the rapid development of battery technology, we’ve begun to see an influx of electric vehicles hitting the global market. Just a few years ago, electric scooters entered the market in droves. This time around, we are beginning to see major manufacturers roll out full-size electric motorcycles capable of pretty impressive performance. Bikes like the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and the Zero SR/F give us a lot of hope that performance-oriented machines will continue to thrive in the age of electrification.
However, making the shift to electric isn’t without its drawbacks. For one thing, purists have long criticized electric vehicles for their lack of soul and character. Understandably so, as the sound, vibrations, and operating a manual transmission have all become such an integral part of motorcycling, that a lot of die-hard enthusiasts couldn’t imagine life without them. On top of this, the use of high-capacity, heavy duty batteries adds quite a bit of weight to a machine which is otherwise most enjoyable the lighter it is. Now, while there is no doubt that batteries will continue to get better, more efficient, and lighter, nothing can replace the raw and unadulterated riding experience provided by the good old internal-combustion engine.
Iconic Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati shares the same sentiment. While the Italian icon does concede that electrification is indeed the way of the future, its lack of R&D and prototypes for an all-electric Ducati prove otherwise. In a statement by Ducati’s VP of Sales, Francesco Milicia, the company deems that no electric motorcycle will be capable of matching the level of pleasure, engagement, and riding dynamics of Ducati’s machines. That said, instead of hopping onto the electrification bandwagon, Ducati will be investing in the research and development of synthetic fuels.
"We are also looking carefully at other solutions for zero or minimal emissions, such as synthetic fuel. Other brands in our group such as Porsche are looking at it and it’s something we are looking at in the medium term."
Synthetic fuels have the potential to be an equally sustainable and environmentally friendly option, provided they are engineered and utilized properly. As mentioned by Francesco Milicia, several other companies under the Volkswagen Group have begun intensive research into synthetic fuels, with German automaker Porsche leading the charge.