Italian manufacturer of sporty electric motorcycles Energica debuts in Singapore with three models – EsseEsse9+, Ego+ and Ribelle
Photos by Energica, Leow Ju-Len, Derryn Wong
SINGAPORE – The Lion City’s first official high-performance electric motorcycles will be from Italian manufacturer Energica, courtesy of its authorised distributor Ifnyi Pte Ltd.
The brand will sell three models here: The classic motorcycle-styled EsseEsse 9+ for S$69,040, the performance naked Ribelle for S$74,390, and the sportsbike Ego+ for S$80,810. Prices quoted are OTR (on-the-road) including COE and Road Tax, but without insurance.
As far as we know, Energica is the first official retailer of high-powered electric motorcycles here. Only in April this year were rules changed to allow electrically-powered motorcycles with a higher power rating on the roads here in Singapore – previously bikes with more than 10kW (13.4hp) were not allowed here at all.
|Power/Torque||Top speed||Battery||Charge Time|
Fast 20kW DC
Slow 3kW AC
City Combined Highway
|EsseEsse 9+||109hp/200Nm||200km/h||21.5kWh||1 hour (approx) |
There are a large number of variants/models on Energica’s main website, but Ifyni is starting with these three models to begin with. All three models use the same 21.5kWh battery pack, and performance/charging are all very similar.
The EsseEsse9+ is the most relaxed model of the range, with 109hp and 200Nm from its electric motor, but even then it can outrun a Tesla Model 3 Performance in the 0-100km/h – doing it in only three seconds flat, compared to the Tesla’s 3.3 seconds.
The Ribelle and Ego+ are closely related: The Ribelle is the naked version of the Ego+, the latter being a full-faired sportsbike. They have the same motor which is more powerful than the SS9+’s, at 145hp and 215Nm, and the fairing of the Ego+ makes for a better top speed.
The bikes share lots of components, which are top-shelf items from premium suppliers as befitting a premium bike – Brembo M50 brakes, Marzocchi forks, Bitubo rear suspension – with electronic aids including adjustable traction control and regeneration, eABS and Bosch ABS, and cruise control.
Yes. As of March 2020, updated motorcycle license rules indicate that a Class 2B rider can only ride bikes up to 200cc or 15kW output, 2A rules are 201-400cc or 15 to 25kW, and Class 2 rules have no restrictions.
With the least powerful model, the Esseesse9+ giving 80kW/109hp, Energica bikes are only for Class 2 riders, at least until the brand offers a less powerful motorcycle.
Energica is serious, and don’t call them Shirley. But jokes aside, with its position as a premium electric motorcycle maker, local agent Ifyni doesn’t expect them to fly out of the showroom at this point. “I don’t think we’re really looking at (selling) huge numbers,” says one of the firm’s founders, Mr Eugene Mah (more below).
As we see with the Energica, like electric cars, electric motorcycles are more expensive than their gasoline counterparts, although how much more expensive depends on the model. But if we compare Energica to a Ducati – segment to segment and leaving brand considerations aside – the prices aren’t that far off.
If you compare the EsseEsse9+ to a similar motorcycle, the Ducati Monster 950 at S$39,800 OTR, it is considerably more expensive. However if you compare the Ribelle to a similar Ducati – the Streetfighter V4 which is more powerful but in a similar segment, at S$66,900 the Streetfighter isn’t that much more expensive. If you stack the Ego+ against the Panigale V4, again the Ducati has a higher horsepower and potential performance but is a similar segment – it’s not that far off in price at S$77,000 for the least expensive model.
The same as BEV cars really: No emissions means they are quieter and do not emit tailpipe emissions. The noise pollution aspect is also an extra bonus for those who dislike motorcycle exhaust noise. And electric bikes are much cheaper to fuel – though not necessarily cheaper to own.
Our own calculations show that fuelling the Energica EsseEsse9+ is almost seven times less expensive than an efficient petrol motorcycle.
Comparing the Energica EsseEsse9+ to a economical scooter (Honda Forza 300) at 3.2L/100km show that fuelling the Energica for a 100km costs only S$1.065 at current energy tariff prices (S$0.2255 per kWh), compared to S$7.632 for the Forza (2.385 for 95 RON Petrol).
The catch is that unlike BEVs, e-motorcycles do not get an early EV adoption handout (EEAI), nor a VES rebate, and they
also have to pay S$200 extra in road tax per year. Thankfully the road tax for an e-motorcycle isn’t as high as an electric car or even a high-capacity bike – it’s calculated from motor output as well – the yearly road tax for the EsseEsse9+ is S$266 per annum.
Like electric cars, they’re heavy: The battery pack itself weighs around 200kg, so all the bikes weigh around 300+ kilos in full running state. We’ve had a short test run with the bike, and can say that it handles how we expect: Surprisingly agile for the weight, thanks to a low centre of gravity, and generous, instant acceleration from the motor. But the main problem, like electric cars, is finding a place to jam electrons into the battery.
The Energica bikes use the same charging standard as electric cars here – CCS2 – so anywhere you can charge a BEV car, you can charge the bike. That brings with it the same disadvantages though, as Singapore’s charge network is still underdeveloped, so you’ll need access to a private charge station of some sort, ideally a landed property.
Energica is based in Modena and makes Italian electric motorcycles. Its location is strategic – famous names Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Ducati are all in the vicinity, and it’s no surprise that Energica positions itself much like its neighbour Ducati, as a maker of premium and luxury bikes.
Owned by CRP Group, a high-tech manufacturing company in Italy, it’s only seven years old, being founded in 2014, with its main claim to fame being the fact that it produces spec bikes for the official electric motorcycle championship, MotoE.
That’s certainly an advantage, as the common claim is that racing experience allows a technology flow to road/consumer products eventually, and there are no other high-profile electric motorcycle championships around, with the exception of the once-a-year eTT (electric Tourist Trophy).
Bikers here will notice a familiar name here: One of the firm’s founders, mentioned above, is Eugene Mah, the 37-year-old who is managing director of Mah Pte Ltd, the dealer for a number of motorcycle brands here including Aprilia, Piggio, Triumph, and Vespa, and a major player in the bike industry. Mah set up the firm with a long-time riding buddy, Randall Lee, 45, the head of a software firm.
“There’s a great focus around the world on EVs. In Singapore, we’re moving towards that direction, and it’s good for us to get the first two-wheel, high-performance EV here,” Mr Lee said.
Ifyni isn’t all about exotic electric bikes, though. It’s aimed at the electric vehicle business, says Mr Mah, and that encompasses two- and three-wheeler EV fleet sales, and could include cars in future.
Yes, but as mentioned it’s the first high-powered electric motorcycle we’ve seen on the roads here. Before this, there were almost no electric bikes on the roads here – less than 10 in 2015, and only one in 2020. In 2010 CarBuyer tested the Ampere EEC electric scooter which had a top speed of 60km/h, wasn’t allowed on expressways, and a 130km range. That explains why e-motorcycles have never been a proper thing, until now.
Locally, we do know of one other electric motorcycle that’s coming this year – Harley-Davidson’s Livewire which we tested as a prototype a whole six years ago.
Internationally, electric bike makers that are more well known include Zero, from the USA, which makes a wide variety of motorcycles including nakeds, dual-sport, and sportbikes.
Lightning is another US-based manufacturer that makes the LS-218, claimed to be the fasted production motorcycle in the world bar none.
Local firm Scorpio Electric has made headlines for being a Singaporean manufacturer of electric motorcycles, saying it is ‘…specializing in electric motorcycle manufacturing with a focus on performance.’ The firm does not have a bike for sale yet, but unveiled a prototype scooter in January of this year.