Monday, May 12, 2014

Electric motorcycle racing on 3 continents - eFXC, eMotoRacing, M1GP, MotoERacing - but no eRoadRacing

I have some preliminary news on a new electric motorcycle racing season in Europe - MotoERacing.  I learned of this series last week thanks to a posting by the Danish team, Future Electric, who made a blog post seeking sponsorship.  Their reason for seeking sponsors?  Because they've been invited to participate in MotoE.  MotoWhat?  This was the first I'd heard of that, so what's on the MotoE website?  And does it have any relation to eMotoRacing in North America?  And this raises the unanswered question - where is the 2014 eRoadRacing season?

The MotoE website describes a 2014 season of several motorcycle race events, all in Europe, starting in the middle of the summer.

There's some elements shown on the site that recall the TTXGP and eRoadRacing - such as referring to the IET for technical/rules support.  Oh, and there's many pictures on the site derived from the 2013 eRoadRacing season, and the teams mentioned match the TTXGP/eRoadRacing European roster. 

According to Rupal Patel (owner of the domain name - and one of the top people of the TTXGP/eRoadRacing), MotoE is extremely preliminary at this moment, and there nothing concrete to report, yet.

Basically, we must simply watch that space to see what develops.

Electric motorcycle racing teams in Australia, Europe and North America are responding to the lack of a 2014 eRoadRacing season.  If all had been right in the world, eRoadRacing would have announced a season lineup last fall, and we'd have already seen a couple races by now.  But they didn't, and and still haven't even though we're in May.  Currently the eRR website is down and has been for a month or more.  I have to do some more digging before I can report on the status of eRoadRacing.

To fill the void left by TTXGP/eRoadRacing, four electric motorcycle racing series are underway.

Australia:  eFXC was the Australian partner to TTXGP.  For the 2013 season the eFXC went its own way when eRoadRacing was unable to work with them.  I haven't been able to follow them in 2014, but I believe they are conducting a 2014 season.

North America:  eMotoRacing was organized by Arthur Kowitz, who'd ridden during 2013 in the eRoadRacing.  The M1GP in Southern California was organized by Hollywood Electrics, a Zero Motorcycles dealer in Hollywood, and is doing electric racing action at tracks near the LA area.  The AFM has allowed, since 2013, electric bikes to race for points in gas bike races.  Additionally, some teams are gearing up for another big showing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Europe: as we said, MotoERacing is trying to start a series.  The TT ZERO is of course "on" for June and should be interesting.

A good thing is that the electric motorcycle racing field is showing resilience - the primary promoter, eRoadRacing, is missing from action but the racing teams are organizing replacement racing action.

That's what resilience is - the ability to bounce back in the face of survival threats.  Such as a motorcycle racer, leading the race in the last corner of the last lap, spinning out, then getting back up, finishing the race, and scoring a decent standing.  The loss of eRoadRacing could have been a death blow to the electric motorcycle racing sport, setting the field back by a decade while the FormulaE electric car racing series is getting all the limelight.  Instead the sport is organizing itself.

Here I am at the end of the posting, and I don't have answers to the questions raised at the top.  That's where the electric motorcycle racing sport is - clutching at answers to key questions - What about eRoadRacing?  How will electric motorcycles be established in the overall motorcycle racing field?

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