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Nightmare on the disappearance of all “MotoE” machines. What will happen to the future of EV Race?

  • 17/04/2019
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[Kenny Sagawa: Webike News Editor in Chief]

* The above is a reference image. Image Source:motogp.com

Before the debut race all motorcycle was lost by the fire.

World championship “MotoE” series was scheduled to be held as a support race of MotoGP but a fire broke out in the paddock late at night on March 14 during the official test before the opening ceremony at the Jerez Circuit in Spain, and major incident occurred that all 18 machines and charging systems were lost.

“As a result, the opening race scheduled to be held at the Spanish Grand Prix in May will be postponed. Fortunately, there were no injuries, and it seems that the schedule has been adjusted by adding all of the alternative races and holding until six round.
But, It would be a bad start.”

Attention as the first world championship electric motorcycle

“MotoE” is the first world championship on an electric motorcycle, as you can see from the official name “FIM Enel MotoE World Cup”. It operates “Dorna Sports” that is the same as MotoGP. The motorbike used is a sprint race by the one-make machine which was converted a street model “Ego” made by Energica Motor Company of Italy into a racer. The top speed is to reach 270km/h, and it has a spec approaching Moto2 machine.

It is attracting attention as a new race that was born from technological innovation driven by 100% renewable energy, but it is trouble not to be able to overlook just before the debut, and the damage might be not a little in various meanings. After that, it was news that the CEO of Formula E, the electric version of the F1 machine, expressed support for the”MotoE”. Formula E does not seem to have had such trouble in the past, but in this case, it was a pity for this insane “Electric”.

Is it the cause of short circuit of high density battery?

What bothers me is the cause of the fire. The scene of the pit burning up with the fierce fire that was stored in the paddock have been exposed by photos and videos through the internet, but what was the caused of the fire so far?…. According to Dorna sport, which operates the MotoGP, it is unlikely to be a fire from a charging motorcycle. Later investigations have also reported that the cause of the fire was due to a high-density battery short circuit in the charging station.

A high-density battery is a 2nd order battery with a higher energy density per unit volume than a conventional lead battery, and the current mainstream is lithium ion. It is used for smartphones and electric vehicles because of their small size and high performance, but the weak point is that flammable substances are used in the electrolyte of General Lithium-ion batteries. Occasionally, some news such as fire from the PC and electric vehicle burning happened.

We do not know the details of the MotoE machine’s power system but there is a high risk of fire because it is mounted with a high-voltage and high-capacity battery. Of course, vehicle manufacturers are also aware of the risks associated with EV. They will be able to take prompt action to redeem the honor of MotoE, but we don’t have any information at this time. By the way, “Solid-state batteries” and others have entered the research and development stage as safer next-generation batteries that replace lithium-ion, but it seems to take much longer to put into practical use.

There is no doubt that the 21st century is the era of EV, but this accident has been exposed even without trying that EV is still developing. “MotoE” is one of the ultimate electric motorcycles, and it is a Tip-Top running laboratory. In that sense, I would like to pay attention to the trend in the future.

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