You have all kinds of racing out there. Bike racing, car racing, drone racing, you name it. But you have no electric scooter racing, at least not officially. Well, that’s about to change pretty soon!
Electric Scooters and Electric Scooter Racing Are Here To Stay
E Scooters have proved their value to commuters around the globe. Since the first abrupt and contentious arrival on the personal mobmnility scene, electric scooters are no longer the new kid on the block.
When e-scooters first arrived on American city streets in the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018, officials and consumers alike were caught off guard.
Quick to embrace the concept of increased, easy mobility, consumers were on board and officials had little choice but to follow.
Today, e-scooters are a common sight in cities all over. As personal mobility is an essential service in any city, the electric scooter will not be going away anytime soon.
There will be new models and enhanced features that will appeal to the consumer, but what about fun?
These sporty devices will get you to work or transit and are fun while doing so, but is there more? Yes, there is. How about being able to watch electric scooter racing?
We Love A Good Electric Scooter Race
It seems that no matter the mode of transportation, once we have established it, we have raced it.
History has seen chariot races, canoes, horse racing, dog sled racing and colorful hot air balloons have dotted the sky in the heat of the race.
Boats, planes, skateboards, motorcycles, go-karts, and bicycles have been raced. There has even been a race into space.
We have races on snowmobiles, on ice skates, on skis, and in bobsleds. If you can name it, chances are good we have raced it.
The latest vehicle to hit the racing sphere is e-scooters like this one: Rion RE90 Racing Edition: The Bugatti of Electric Scooters
Exciting News For 2021!
Now there is the exciting news of the very first eSkootr is a high-speed electric scooter racing series launching in 2021
Less than exciting is that there are very few details: no dates, no times, no places, and no riders listed as of this date.
The only information that is solid at this point is the second quarter of 2021 is the target date given by the founders of eSkootr.
The eSkootr Championship
On July 1, 2020, there was a press release by a group of Formula One and Formula E drivers about a new racing series.
Called the eSkootr Championship it looks as if it will be modeled along the lines of Formula E.
The eSkootr (eSC for short) Championship will be the world’s first-ever international electric scooter race series.
The race will be conducted on specially developed high-speed electric scooters.
Held in the heart of major cities and designed to make international motorsport more accessible, affordable, and sustainable, this race will be the first of its kind.
Those in the industry think the same was we do: Electric Scooter Racing Looks Freakin’ Awesome!
Information in the press release said that this idea was conceived as an all-new electric sporting category.
This series will promote the cost, convenience, and sustainability benefits of micromobility.
The race itself looks cool. Take a look:
Building on the platform that micromobility is transforming the way that people move through cities, the Electric Skootr Championship “wants to further the reach and potential of this new mobility movement through our new emobility sport.”
Electric scooter championship launched by di Grassi and Wurz who will lead this ambitious endeavor.
Lucas di Grassi eSC’s Sustainability Ambassador
Perhaps one of the most recognizable names on the team, Lucas di Grassi is the Sustainability Ambassador for eSC.
di Grassi is a Brazilian race driver who competes in the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship.
A staunch advocate of electric racing, di Grassi knows something about organizing.
The season three champion of Formula E, the Audi team driver, was a key player in getting Formula E off the ground.
From its beginning in 2014, Formula E has been a single-seater motorsport that uses only electric cars. The championships are all city-based racing, just as the eSC will be.
di Grassi was the first test driver for Formula E and is its biggest brand ambassador.
Deeply committed to clean air and sustainable racing, di Grassi was appointed the United Nations Environment Programme’s clean air ambassador in 2018.
Being able to race with electric power gave Formula E the only racing series to hold the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for sustainable events in recognition of its progressive environmental agenda.
Earlier this year, di Grassi said, “In my career we have gone from formula one and being fully combustion to Roborace being fully electric and autonomous.
The transition and change in ten years was definitely bigger than the last 100 and I think the next 10 will see more change than the last 100 again.
It is an exciting time to be alive and be part of the change and part of the new world.”
The eSR in 2021 will surely be just as exciting.
To see di Grassi in action, watch these 10 Dramatic Moments Which Have Defined Lucas di Grassi’s 2019 Season
Khalil Beschir eSC’s COO and Co-founder
Khalil Beschir is the COO and co-founder of eSC. He competed professionally in the A1 GP series from 2005 to 2008.
With few opportunities in his home of Kersaf, Lebanon, Khalil did not lose his interest in and love for racing as he grew up.
Seeking to learn more, Khalil enrolled in a Formula 3 race-car driving school in France and graduated at the top of his class.
Participating in several races for various teams, he joined the newfound Lebanese team on the A1 circuit.
In the middle east, Khalil is seen as a symbol of success and a pioneer in auto racing. Khalil has worked with FIA on motorsport development and training programs.
Hrag Sarkissian eSC’s CEO and Co-founder
Of Lebanese-Armenian descent, Hrag Sarkissian is the CEO and co-founder of eSC. Being born in New York gave him the opportunity to experience the racing scene.
Hrag has an extensive background in motorsports and a broad portfolio of innovation-led businesses.
His passion is micromobility and sustainable technology, which go hand and hand with personal mobility.
To quote Hrag, “After seeing the potential for the growth of micromobility and escooters, we spent several years developing a concept and vision for the Electric Scooter Championship.
In creating the eSC, we wanted to celebrate the concept of mobilizing cities and liberating people who have been trapped within a transport system that no longer properly works.
When we go racing next year, it will be as a means to change motorsport and mobility forever.”
Alex Wurz eSC’s Safety Ambassador
eSC has ex-grand Prix driver and two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 hours, Alex Wurz, as their safety ambassador.
In 2006 Wurz and his father founded Test and Training International, a company that is now a leader in the field of road safety and driver training.
Alex also works closely with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) as an operating partner of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy.
In 2005, Alex had the unenviable honor of being in Formula 1’s fastest ever impact, without injuries, by crashing at a speed of 186.41 miles per hour.
Miraculously, he walked away after his right rear tire exploded, sending him into the walls.
The tire explosion resulted from a safety feature being absent on the tire and escaping F1’s fastest crash spurred a safety drive for Alex.
Recently, Alex said in an interview about the scale of an eScooter track that affects his approach to safety. Alex said, “… in theory everything is possible — and that’s what makes it so exciting.
We could go racing in New York’s Central Park, or we could host a ‘Midnight Special’ event in a multi-story car park or an exhibition event at a music festival, or a race from A to B — indoors or outdoors.”
You can find the full interview with Alex here: Alex Wurz: Creating A Safety Margin | by ESC
The Idea Behind The eSkootr Championship
As is to be expected, many buzz phrases are surrounding the concept of the first-ever international electric race scooter championship launch put out in their press release.
For example: “the ultra-accessible and affordable race series showcases micromobility innovation.”
The series of races “will also promote the cost, convenience, and sustainability benefit of micromobility within the rapidly changing electric mobility landscape.”
Those phrases are sometimes hard to wade through. But why stop there?
The promoters have promised that “at each venue city, the series will bring together representatives from government, industry, and civil society to help define policies and practice to build a more sustainable and deliverable vision of future urban transportation.
It will show how densely populated areas can efficiently build protected, sustainable city networks where escooters, ebikes, and bicycles all share space together.”
That is a tall order for eSC’s dream. If they can start the movement, it would be an incredible and much-needed change in the right direction.
Companies Involved In the Electric Scooter Series Championship
All we have in terms of companies involved with the series is the assurance from the eSC team that they are established, well-known companies.
Location Of The Championship
Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to location.
The Championship itself will say only that the season will kick off at a series of specially designed urban venues “in some of the world’s most cosmopolitan and progressive cities.”
di Grassi said: “Speaking personally, I want to see us take these events into the heart of the city – an environment where few motorsport categories, with the notable exception of Formula E, are capable of regularly treading – wouldn’t it be fantastic to see eSC races in, say, Brooklyn, or London, in Mumbai or Sao Paulo?”
So the bottom line is still that there is no solid venue city or cities. You have to admit that the pandemic has thrown all such ventures a curveball.
Everyone is counting on life getting back to a semblance of normal next year, but this year has taught us all that nothing is a given.
However, di Grassi said: “The usual rules for hosting a race no longer apply.
We can create tracks that exist outdoors or indoors – or a combination of the two – and they can be rigged and de-rigged within days, rather than the months it takes to ready a street circuit for an international road race.”
If the eSkootr Championship will have the ability to set up in a matter of days rather than months, the outlook for a speedy deployment is good.
This adaptiveness would be a considerable advantage in the post-pandemic world.
The eSC Riders
Here is another tantalizing question: who will race these electric scooters? Again, there is little information about who will race or even how many will race.
This statement from di Grassi provides a small amount of insight into just who might race.
He said: “I think you need to separate the concept of an extreme racing scooter from the e-scooters you see on city streets (today),” di Grassi says.
“With this series, we have created a superfast race machine capable of speeds greater than 100km/h; that can accelerate faster than a road car, and which will reach 100km/h in only a few seconds.
That’s the kind of machine we’ll be racing globally next year, and it will need to be ridden by professionals.”
Translated for us here in the states, 100km/h is about 62 miles per hour.
The eSC has said that the relatively low cost of the racing scooters will keep the barrier to entry low and that they expect a “diverse cross-section of competitors” to be involved.
That sounds good but is a bit contradictory with the previous comment that all the racers would-be professionals.
At the moment, the number of professional e-scooter racing drivers is a number that is slim to none.
Instead, the series says that it will tap into the ranks of “racing drivers, cyclists, skaters, snowboarders, motorcyclists and even esports racers.”
What Will The Racing Electric Scooters Look Like?
According to the eSC, they will reveal the prototype scooter later this year. That is going to be an exciting machine to see.
It will be a purpose-built model, not a scooter adapted to racing.
The press release said that the eSC has already partnered with a recognized high-technology provider on the spec of its first race model and will reveal the prototype later this year.
Since they have already released a video (here is the link again), you would guess that the scooter might look very similar to those in the promotional video.
Safety At 62 MPH
As always, safety comes to mind when you think of a person standing on a board going 62 miles per hour.
That is an extreme speed when you have no shell of protection around you.
While the racers will be wearing helmets and padded suits if a fall occurs, it will resemble being slingshotted across several lanes of concrete roadway with the only thing stopping you being more concrete.
Whether it is safe or not has never stopped racers from giving it a go anyway.
There is something inherent in the human species that prods us to try doing what we know could hurt us.
That momentum will not be forgiving to any person subjected to it. At the very least, it would be bone-shattering.
The eSC has said they will champion safer, smarter, and more sustainable micromobility choices.
Alex To The Rescue
To that end, the team member responsible for safety is Alex Wurz. Earlier in this article, we talked about Alex’s credentials, and he certainly sounds like the guy for this job.
His input on the track and its design will be a huge factor in how safe the racing platform is. As with anything of this nature, there will be an element of danger.
That is evident no matter how good the track, how competent the racers, or how substantial the riding gear.
The racers will race anyway, and some will get hurt.
Alex has said that: “eSC is exhaustively evaluating the performance envelope of our race scooters: how quickly they accelerate, their top speed, cornering speeds, their lean angles.
We can model all those variables in a simulation, which allows us to build a thorough technical profile and begin overlaying it to track design.”
The team at eSC is smart enough to know that simulators can be good predictors, but will not substitute for a real track and rider.
Alex states that at eSC: “we aim to race in urban environments – and, given that safety is paramount, we will draw upon the best experts in the safety and research industry to help eSC to employ the best hardware and software technologies and solutions to create exciting but safe races.
We want the eSC to become a platform that creates synergies between users and their traffic environment, between cities and legislation, between racing and road safety.”
That is a tall order! We will be waiting and watching to see how this all unfolds and wishing them the best.
Nope! Can’t Do That!
As has always been the case no matter the vehicle, there will be those who race illegally. At this point, unless it is a sponsored event, it is illegal to race e-scooters.
Depending on the state in which you reside, there will be rules for the operation of an e-scooter.
Some states require a certain age (with 16 being the lowest) and also require a DMV registration.
Other states also put a limit on the speed with 25 mph being the highest, and the average is between 15 – 20 mph. Alaska, however, has no e-scooter laws at all.
They Are Going To Need Tide Pods
Here is a video that is a lot of fun to watch: The 1st ever Electric Scooter Race!
From Ulu Choh Dirt Park, Malaysia, these guys are hardcore to be racing in the dirt and mud! Maybe a spill in the dirt would not be as disastrous as a spill on concrete.
They certainly are having a good time!
Unofficially Official (Cause There Is Video To Prove It)
There are those e-scooter riders who cannot wait around for organizers and platforms and take matters into their own hands, just like these brave souls below did.
Inquiring minds want to know just what and who is the fastest. While unofficial, these private races still give the enthusiast an idea of what is popping in the industry.
The Electric Scooters and the Need for Speed
Back when Karl Benz drove the first automobile, July 3, 1886, his top speed was 10 miles per hour.
I am sure, beyond a doubt, that seemed fast.
Fast forward a short 83 years, and we have a top speed of 24,791 miles per hour achieved by the crew of NASA’s Apollo 10 Mission as they rocketed back to earth on May 26, 1969.
While they are faster than Karl, these electric scooters are not as fast as the Apollo 10 crew.
Still, they are impressive! Top 6 Fast Electric Scooters of 2020 Listed by Top Speed
BAESk8 Cannonball Electric Scooter Race 2019
Not at all on the scale that the eSkootr Championship will be, the BAESK8 Race in San Francisco 2019 was still a blast for participants and is yet more proof that we love to race!
BAESk8 is a group that is just two years old, with a few thousand members. It is a platform that exists both online and in real life.
Their primary aim is to share information and ride together, mainly on electric skateboards. They also have a FB Bay Area Esk8 Public Group.
The Cannonball put on by BAESk8 was a race open to DIY electric skateboards, production electric skateboards, electric scooters, and electric unicycles.
Held September 6 through the 8th, The race route was a short 7.5 miles, but it went through an urban setting of steep hills, varied terrain, and the inevitable traffic. The race left the door wide open for the unpredictable.
You can watch some of it here:
Route Finding Day allowed racers to ride around the city and plan their route from Pier 15 Exploratorium to the Ocean Beach Fire Pits on the coast in San Francisco.
Race Day had a standard drag race in a straight line through Golden Gate Park.
It also had the Expert Cannonball racing the route that racers had planned on Route Finding Day as fast as they could. Riders must obey traffic rules during the race.
While the First Annual Cannonball race had over $1000 in prize money, you would probably find that most participants would race even without any monetary incentive.
The pandemic has caused a 2020 Cannonball Race postponement, but they plan to be back on the road in 2021 so there is plenty of time to get your ride ready!
The eSkootr electric scooter racing is an exciting prospect for those who love e-scooters and for all people who love competition no matter the form.
What sets eSC’s team and event apart from others is the ambitious motives behind the race.
The sport is hoping to improve sustainability, mobility and reduce our carbon footprint.
eSC plans to involve government, industry, and society to define practices to build a vision of future urban transportation.
These are lofty goals that would benefit all of us. We look forward with great anticipation and excitement to the eSkootr Championship in 2021.
Andy is an urban survivor passionate about recycling, clean energy, and micromobility. He loves nature and people and peacefully militates for a balance between the two. When he’s not writing on Noble Urban you’ll find him riding his bike, fishing, or reading a good book.