FIM Launches Electric Off-Road Motorcycle Series
By Taruka Srivastav | July 6, 2021
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the global governing body of motorcycle racing, has confirmed the launch of a new international all-electric off-road motorcycle series entitled the
FIM E-Xplorer World Cup.
Kicking off in early 2022, the series will be a world first at this elite level and is set to continue the growing appetite for electric motorsport. Leaders in this sector, the FIM started competitions for electric powered motorcycles in circuit racing back in 2010 with the FIM E-Power International Championship – the forerunner to the current MotoE series – and in more recent years off-road competition with the FIM EBike Enduro World Cup, the FIM E-XBike World Cup and the FIM Trial-E World Cup.
Sanctioned by the FIM, the series will be run by CEO and Promoter Valentin Guyonnet, who has more than a decade of experience working as part of motorsports’ world governing body and will be joined by the highly regarded global sports marketing and events developer Carina Munte as CCO. In addition, the series is backed by Alejandro Agag, CEO of Extreme E and Chairman of Formula E and the E1 Series, plus Eric Peronnard, respected promoter and sporting advisor of ESPN X-Games and Red Bull Straight Rhythm.
Five races are set to take place during the first season in a mixture of urban and natural environments across the globe, with provisional locations ranging from the United States to Switzerland, all designed to encourage viewers to explore the outdoors whilst minimising any environmental impact.
A total of 10 teams will each compete with two riders; one male and one female and be made up of a mixture of leading OEMs and existing professional race teams. Competitors will race on two-wheel off-road motorcycles propelled by a single 100% electric motor with a maximum weight of 130kg. A review process will also be carried out this month to identify additional manufacturer needs, alongside a rigorous testing programme which is already underway.
Jorge Viegas, President of the FIM, said: “The FIM has long been a leader and a strong advocate of sustainability in sport, our FIM Environmental code is both extensive and seen by many others as the benchmark for delivering sustainable events, so our continued and growing commitment to integrating electric motorcycles into our existing championships has always been a natural path. However, the FIM E-Xplorer World Cup marks a significant moment on this important journey. The FIM is proud to be part of this exciting new project and will provide all the necessary support to ensure its success during its inaugural season and long into the future during which time electric power will become a dominant player in our sport.”
Alejandro Agag, regarded as one of the pioneers of sustainable motorsport and a supporter of the new series, said: “I have always had a vision that the future of motorsport should be electric, and that is now being realised. From where it all started with Formula E, to Extreme E, the E1 Series and now, and now E-Xplorer. The FIM, Eric Peronnard and the highly experienced team at E-Xplorer, have big plans and names to reveal over the coming weeks and months as they prepare for next year’s inaugural event and what I have no doubt will further promote the electric revolution on two-wheels.”
Renowned motorcycle promoter Eric Peronnard joins the project as a consultant and added: “We are long overdue a credible motorcycle series in the off-road segment and for me E-Xplorer is it. I’ve been a fan of electric bikes from the get-go – even creating the first electric motorcycle race in 2008 – and been riding them ever since they’ve been on the market; they’re quiet, better for the planet, better for racing and simply more fun! Having a platform like E-Xplorer presents the ideal opportunity for manufacturers to come onboard to showcase not only their technology but their support for the future of riding.”
E-Xplorer CEO Valentin Guyonnet said: “We are delighted to be making this announcement today alongside the FIM. We have seen the growing trend for electric racing and the fusion of sport and sustainability, so for us the next step was to expand that to motorcycling. In addition to creating a platform to test electric two-wheel technology, we want to challenge the current perception of motorbikes and their riders to excite the next generation, and to present a global e-mobility solution that isn’t just limited to cars.”