If a vehicle can go fast, you better believe people are going to race it. Boats, planes, motorcycles; there are racing leagues for almost every type of vehicle imaginable. Next year, electric scooters are getting in on the action now that the eSkootr Championship has finalised what every racer will be riding.
Developed by an Italian company called YCOM, which worked alongside the eSC, the S1-X eSkooter doesn’t look dramatically different to the rentable electric scooters you see cruising around the downtown cores of many cities. But weighing in at 35 kg, you don’t want to find yourself having to carry one of these up a flight of stairs en route to your office — even with a carbon fibre chassis that provides maximum aerodynamics. Hidden beneath that bodywork are front and rear suspension elements, and a pair of six kW electric motors that rely on a special torque delivery system that ensures the power is always evenly balanced between the two wheels.
Power comes from a 1.5 kWh lithium battery, but YCOM hasn’t shared details on how far the S1-X can go on a single charge. It presumably doesn’t have anywhere near the range of the electric scooters rented out by companies like Lime that can travel for more than 32 km before needing a charge, particularly given the S1-X has a custom boost mode for riders needing a momentary advantage. If they intend to actually cross the finish line, however, they’ll want to use that sparingly.
Although testing of the S1-X has been done with 16 different riders and the scooters capped at 70% power, when official racing takes place sometime in 2022, these two-wheeled vehicles are expected to hit speeds of over 97 km per hour on the straightaways.
That might not seem fast given motorcycles can hit top speeds of more than 322 km/h during a race, but these racers are going to be standing the entire time, making the 55-degree leans into the tight corners even more gruelling. Even during testing under reduced power, riders have reported feeling extremely fatigued after a race. Despite the whole idea of electric scooter racing sounding like a parody, competitors are going to actually have to be very physically fit if they have any hopes of scooting across the finish line first.