In which global cities would you most want to see eSC racing?
I’d love to see us racing in Vienna – just because I’ve already got the perfect track layout in my mind; right in the city centre, beside the parliament buildings and the university. Putting a track in a location like that really hits all the targets: micromobility-friendly, city-centric and adaptive to new technology. It’s perfect.
KHALIL BESCHIR, ESC COO_ Yeah, I agree. Vienna would be perfect for eSC. We want to be in cities that are already adopting micromobility – and then also look towards forward-thinking cities that see the potential of the sector.
LUCAS DI GRASSI, ESC SUSTAINABILITY AMBASSADOR_ We’re focusing on racing in capitals, and iconic cities such as New York, London, Beijing and Tokyo etc. Once the championship is established, we will be racing across five continents, in all the key markets.
HRAG SARKISSIAN, ESC CEO_ That’s right, Lucas – we know the big micromobility pioneers – places like Paris and Berlin. And, in an ideal world, we’d be racing in Paris, London, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rome/Milan, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Dubai, Shanghai, Sao Paolo and Mexico City.
KHALIL_ Absolutely, but we also want to help cities who aren’t yet involved in the sector – places we feel we could develop together. We’re already talking to several cities who are looking to use eSC as a means to further introduce micromobility to their landscape, and there are plenty more discussions to be had.
DAKOTA ‘KOTA’ SCHUETZ, ESC RIDER AMBASSADOR_ Strongly agree with Khalil. It’s about balancing those cities with a strong micromobility footprint with places that want to look to the future.
So, how do cities need to grow and change in order to adapt to micromobility?
KHALIL_ Design. Planning. The right policies all play their part. But I also believe a solid educational programme for young riders would help people better understand the benefits of active and micromobility, and the safe use of eScooters.
KOTA_ The main thing cities need to do is build more scooter- and bicycle-friendly lanes to keep people safe.
HRAG_ Yeah, I mean, that’s definitely correct from a practical perspective. But I also think a bigger political paradigm shift is needed. It’s about giving people more real mobility choices, human-centric planning and infrastructure supported by policies that help create more liveable cities.
ALEX_ Many forward-thinking cities are already planning and adjusting their road and pedestrian networks, its a growing global movement. Concern about air quality and pollution is making us reimagine our streets and fast-track new attitudes to mobility. Micromobility is simply the next step.
LUCAS_ Yeah, what the others have said, basically. To make it really work properly, micromobility needs infrastructure and safety controls – things like dedicated bike/scooter lanes, mandatory helmet rules, GPS tracking with fines to give riders responsibility. And a tighter regulation and safety framework for the scooters themselves.
Why eSC, why now?
KHALIL_ Our sport is driven by a very specific sense of purpose. We want to use the emotion, excitement and innovation of sport as a source of inspiration, especially for younger fans and potential competitors. It’s the right time. As a race series, it’ll attract a much more diverse range of interest groups than traditional motorsport – especially the millions of young kids around the world who love freestyle kick scooters and skateboards who’ve never been interested in motorsport before.
We want to use the emotion, excitement and innovation of sport as a source of inspiration
_Khalil Beschir, eSkootr COO
ALEX_ And look at what’s happening with COVID. From a human perspective, we’re see some really interesting societal dynamics – although it might look a little disjointed, we’ve seen the whole world uniting to find a vaccine; and there’s a common understanding that our freedoms are something we should not take for granted. Freedom of movement goes hand-in-hand with mobility, and I think we’ll see how individual, space-efficient mobility will be fundamental to us regaining our freedom of movement, while also being environmentally and socially sustainable.
LUCAS_ Micromobility is efficient and clean, and the technology is continuously developing to provide users with a better, safer and simpler experience. And we’re going to see that eSC combines technology and sustainability like no other sport. It’s also affordable and relevant, so it will really resonate with young people. It will be a hugely democratic sport.
KHALIL_ I love the fact that eSC is both extremely serious and also a little bit crazy. That’s what life is all about, really.
What most excites you about the prototype eSkootr that’s been tested? What do you think will most impress people?
KOTA_ I rode it, and I just loved how well balanced it was. Now, I’m even more excited about trying the next prototype so we can make further improvements to the power. Hopefully, that can happen when the COVID situation is more manageable.
HRAG_ First, I think Kota’s done an incredible job of developing the eSkootr, and I believe we have a really nicely balanced and fast scooter. In terms of appearance, it looks really cool as well – what we’ve done is to make sure the design is relatable, which is why it will still look like an electric scooter.
LUCAS_ Yeah, retaining a similarity to real-world eScooters is important. I think it will help with the public’s perception of the product.
KHALIL_ Actually, I think that familiarity means that the speed is even more apparent. It already looks properly quick, but we’re now working to make it even faster. What also impressed me was just how much the riders could lean into corners, and how much speed they could carry through them.
What’s the one thing you most hope eSC can change or improve?
KOTA_ I would like to see eSC tackle the issues that limit racing: track design, cost, and the physical space you need for an event. All those aspects can be brought together to produce some next-level international events.
ALEX_ I’m really focused on cost. I want us to create by far the cheapest pathway from a local series right up to world championship level. It’s essential that we deliver cost-effective and accessible motorsport.
HRAG_ Our series can play a key role in developing safety and technology within the micromobility world. That ecosystem has been fragmented for a while now, and we have an opportunity to champion the movement by bringing all the stakeholders together.
What is the future of racing?
HRAG_ Electric, accessible and fun.
LUCAS_ The sky’s the limit: racing should be a mass-market sport that really helps to generate financial rewards. Racing should also be truly global: Asia, Africa and Latin America will become key players as accessible motorsport expands around the world. Making the sport accessible is key to its success.
KHALIL_ Totally agree about accessibility; making the series accessible for anyone anywhere and giving the same opportunity to reach the top.
KOTA_ Yep, it’s about building community – from the grassroots up.
ALEX_ Simple: eSC…