A group of Formula One drivers is launching a new track series that will pit competitors against one another on ultra-fast electric scooters. They're like the ones you've doubtless seen parked in cities around the world, except these ones go up to an insane 60 miles per hour. Prototypes are supposed to be revealed later this year before the first competition in 2021. The group says the scooter will have a larger platform and wider wheels than the dinky electric scooters we're used to.
We don't yet know what exactly this ultra-fast scooter will look like (or much else about the event, like where it will take place) but if the press images are anything to go off of, they'll look like something out of Tron.
promoting sustainability — The whole idea behind the racing series, called the eSkootr Championship, is to promote the sustainability benefits of e-scooters and bikes around the world. It's undeniable that cities would be better off without cars. They belch dirty emissions, and even when it comes to electric cars, congestion and pedestrian collisions remain a big problem. The coronavirus pandemic has led many cities to close off streets for outdoor dining — resulting in much calmer, safer cities.
Lime in April relaunched across the U.S. after pulling its scooters due to coronavirus. The company argues that riding scooters is safer during these times than using public transit or rideshare because scooters are single-use vehicles, so you're not getting up close to other people. Uber chose to exit its scooter business amid the pandemic, however, suggesting it didn't believe scooters would become a moneymaker anytime soon. Scooters tend to break and need repairs often.
Promoting cities without cars — One problem with the pitch of the eSkootr Championship is that injuries are such a big problem with normal e-scooters that cities have either capped their speeds at around 15mph, or banned them altogether. eSkootr says the versatility of scooters will allow professionals from all different racing types to participate, like racing drivers and cyclists. Putting inexperienced riders on these things isn't super reassuring and 60 miles per hour sounds pretty dangerous. Then again, other similar racing sports are too. A closed track should reduce the risk somewhat.
eSkootr plans to partner with each venue city to define policies for micromobility and share those with the cities around the world that need them most. Let's just hope there aren't any ugly crashes or the message might get a bit lost.