The comparisons to Tesla founder Musk are flattering, Cevolini smiles.
“It is obviously an honor to be associated to Elon Musk, someone who has changed the game and revolutionized the car industry,” she says.
“We want to lead by example as much as he did, but also do it our own way: car and motorcycle industries have some things in common, but also many differences.”
She does however, have a male role model from closer to home.
“Being from Modena, and the fact that Energica dug its roots in the Italian motor valley, I can’t help but look up to Enzo Ferrari: a true ‘agitator of men’ — as he used to define himself,” she says.
As a female CEO in an industry notoriously dominated by men, Cevolini admits she has faced challenges. She told CNN it was difficult to be taken seriously when she founded the company. “It still is difficult,” she says. “Things are changing, but I think it’s also a push for ourselves as women in the technological world, and male world, to be better than them.”
That need to “be better” than her male counterparts has been a motivation, and even an advantage, she believes.
“There are more and more women that are passionate about motors — and showing that they can be very good at the business level,” she says.
“It is important to demonstrate that, as a woman, you are as good as a man, or even better — and once you do, surely this becomes an advantage. I am here because I have the know-how, the competence to be here.”
Women in motorsport
Progress has been made for women in the bike racing world, too: MotoE counts Spanish rider Maria Herrera among its ranks, and her compatriot Anna Carrasco made history in 2018 when she won the World Supersport 300 Championship.
But the change isn’t confined to the track, according to Cevolini.
“Actually, I’ve seen more and more engineers, female engineers in our world, in the paddocks, in the racing world, in the industrial world, so things are changing,” she says.
Cevolini’s advice to other women aspiring to enter the world of motors and motorsport is simple: “Go for it. Do your job, take your studies very seriously and choose something you really like. Be always prepared and ready. Invest in your career. Don’t look at the others and don’t necessarily do what ‘you’re supposed to’.”
As MotoE prepares for pre-season testing in Jerez next month, the Italian sees a bright future for sustainable sport. “We have to change our world… we have to commit to our planet with the right technology, because (sustainable sport) has to be anyway fun. So, it’s so important,” she says.
“This is the right time.”