E-scooters, the next stage in the EV racing revolution?

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The eSkootr Championship is set to become the world’s first-ever international electric scooter racing series.

The Electric Scooter Championship (eSC), due to hold its first event in 2021, will race specially developed high-speed electric scooters on urban tracks and the series, said the organizers, has been developed to make international motorsport more “accessible, affordable and sustainable”.

With electric scooter hire schemes springing up across the globe, the series said it will also promote the cost, convenience and sustainability benefits of micromobility within the rapidly changing electric mobility landscape.

The series has been co-founded by a group led by motorsport entrepreneur Hrag Sarkissian, The Sports Marketing Group’s CEO, alongside the group’s COO, Khalil Beschir, a Formula 1 broadcaster and former A1 GP racing driver, with Formula E racer Lucas di Grassi and former F1 driver Alex Wurz also lending their support.

Racers are set to use scooters capable of reaching 100km/h (60mph). The eSC said it has already partnered with a well-known high-technology provider on the spec of its first race model and will reveal the prototype later this year.

The specification of these is yet to be confirmed, but a scan across the current market of commercially available machines reveals the performance targets to be realistic. For example, there is already a commercially available scooter from manufacturer Dualtron equipped with twin motors giving a peak output of 5.4kW and a top speed of 80km/h (50mph). However, the promotional video accompanying the series launch hinted that hubless wheel motors will be used.

Currently, there is only one supplier of scooters using this technology, Aktivo, which is owned by Chinese company Taizhou Wei Zhiyan Sports Technology Co. and was launched as a Kickstarter project in 2019. Given the company claims seven patents on its design, it could be a contender; however, it does not fit the ‘well-known’ part of the organizer’s description of its partner, and its motors only have an output of 1kW. It is of course possible that a motorsport-based partner, already involved in Formula E, could be contracted, though that would likely put paid to the ‘affordable and accessible’ element.

“As the world increasingly looks to sport for leadership in social responsibility, we’re also seeing a growing requirement for conventional motorsport to adapt, develop and diversify,” said di Grassi. “The concept of a new series, operating on a global scale with professional participants, yet running with a carbon-zero footprint and offering solutions for a better, more mobile society is a fascinating glimpse toward a more accessible and sustainable way to go racing.

“As we’ve already seen with Formula E, there is considerable scope for disruption within the electric mobility space – both on and off the track. And, as the discussion around micromobility grows, the Electric Scooter Championship is perfectly placed to amplify the benefits of clean, sustainable transport solutions within our everyday lives. This is the start of real – and important – growth for micromobility within motorsport.”

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