CRP Group Standing with Energica After Fire Destroys 18 of Its Electric Motorcycles with 3D Printed Parts
Things seemed to be going along swimmingly, but a few weeks ago, an intense fire broke out at the new Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in Spain after the first day of 2019 testing for the World Cup. While thankfully no one was injured, 18 Energica racing bikes parked at the paddock were destroyed.It’s always hard to hear about something bad like this happening to a member of our awesome 3D printing community. Because Energica “sustained significant damage to its racing equipment” in the fire at the Circuit, the company had to announce the suspension of its IRTA MotoE test. While MotoE will announce a new 2019 racing calendar soon, the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will not race at the Jerez Circuit as part of this season’s Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
However, Energica is already working to replace its motorcycles and get back to the race track.
“The morning after the accident we were already hard at work to make sure the championship can take place. Obviously, this is a very significant effort for Energica, but we’re aware of our capabilities and we’re working closely with our suppliers and with sponsors Dorna and Enel X to ensure that the series can make its official debut as soon as possible,” said Energica’s Chief Technical Officer, Giampiero Testoni. “We strongly believe in this project and we’re both proud and happy to be an integral part of it. We committed to MotoE from day one and recent happenings have not undermined in any way our faith in the strength and importance of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup.”
The local authorities investigated the fire, and were able to confirm that, although the fire started in a charging unit, no bikes were charging when the blaze broke out…meaning the motorcycles were not to blame. According to Motorcycle Daily, flames actually resulted from a short circuit within battery chargers on-site, and not “thermal runaway” with the lithium polymer batteries that power the bikes.
However, rather than simply touting the results of the investigation, Energica is directly addressing the fears of its consumers, explaining that these batteries do pack a limited fire risk and and require modified firefighting procedures.
While the bike batteries likely contributed to the fire growing out of control, Energica is proud of its safety record for the last ten years, and has confirmed that it will be working to learn from the fire and improve its safety measures.
“The tests we perform on our vehicles are inherited from the tests carried out on road vehicles throughout the years, which respect the safety standards for appropriate use, in every riding situation. Not a single one of our clients has experienced an issue of this sort and in ten years of activity in the electric vehicle industry we have never had a single safety issue, not even in Jerez. We are therefore confident and not worried regarding the safety level of our vehicles, both on the road and on the track,” Testoni said when asked about the fire risk.
“As for every vehicle, whether electric or endothermic, there is always a risk. An important thing to know is that fuel contains a much higher amount of energy compared to batteries.
“Thermal runaway is a risk that is present in every battery, not only in vehicles but also smartphones, for example. We have taken all safety measures to make sure the battery does not reach this condition – and we haven’t experienced a single case of thermal runaway in ten years.”
“This setback does not stop our mission, as challenges are and always will be part of our DNA. As tenacious Italians of the Motor Valley we are hard at work already to bring this project forward – as we strongly believe in it,” stated Enerica CEO Livia Cevolini. “We will do everything necessary to save the championship, so we’ll see you on track!”
“The Energica project stems from the entrepreneurial vision of my family back in 2009. The CRP Group was fundamental for the industrial development of Energica since the very first prototypes, and we continue to be Energica’s technological partner,” said CRP Group’s CEO and CTO Franco Cevolini.
“For all the reasons above, we will not pull back: the entire staff of CRP’s Group have joined together showing their unconditional support, and have already started working at full speed to overcome these trying times. Union is strength.”
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