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Model-turned-racer Jordan Rand talks about the new sport and why she pursues it.

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Model-turned-racer Jordan Rand talks about the new sport and why she pursues it.

Electric scooters are no longer just micro-mobility devices that you’d find in cities like San Francisco and London. It’s a professional sport, thanks to the inaugural eSkootr Championship that’s kicking off this year.

Developed by a group of Formula 1 and Formula E drivers, the eSC race will use custom-built scooters that drive as fast as 100 kilometers per hour as athletes in Tron-like outfits compete to the finish line. In addition to sustainability and affordability, the motorsport celebrates accessibility, something that fashion model-turned-racer Jordan Rand cites as one of her favorite aspects about e-scooter racing. “I love that there is real diversity in the sport, not only for people of color, but also for different sporting backgrounds,” she tells us.

An Elite Model signee who has appeared in the campaigns of Altuzarra, Louis Vuitton and Coach, Rand is taking the unconventional route by making her debut as an e-scooter racer at the upcoming eSkootr Championship, slated to take place around the world starting in 2022. Once a professional ice skater and track athlete, the model decided to pursue the new sport to build on her love for recreational racing.

Ahead of her first official race on the electric scooter, Rand shares with HYPEBAE what she loves about e-scooter racing and the future of the sport. Read our interview with the rising athlete below.

eSkootr racing is a new sport. Can you briefly explain the race for those who are unfamiliar?

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The eSkootr championship is a race series that will travel around the world much like Formula 1 or Formula E. But instead of being held at pre-existing tracks, the eSC championship will be building new ones on the streets, parks, stadiums, arenas and more. The tracks will take you around cities across the globe. There will be several races per event, bringing the best racers together [through heats] for the day’s final race. The racing series’ wider mission has sustainability and safety at heart. The eSC Championship plans to take lessons learned in the sport and apply them to real life, helping grow micro-mobility safely and sustainably in our cities.

When did you first learn about the eSkootr Championship, and what motivated you to become an e-scooter racer?

I found out about eSC through a friend at Soho House. I’ve always loved racing recreationally when it came to motorcycles for the rush, the adrenaline and the discipline, but the thought of quitting my job to rival Valentino Rossi was laughable. eSkootr racing, however, filled me with hope. It was an opportunity to become a professional racer, while actually having a fighting chance. It’s a new sport and it doesn’t exist yet. No one can be a pro at a sport that doesn’t exist. We are all learning and developing together. Plus, the mission of sustainability appealed to me. We are moving away from sports that have a negative environmental impact, to sports that bring sustainability to the forefront — hence the growing success of Formula E.

What are some things you love about the sport, and why?

Aside from the fact it’s sustainable and exhilarating, I love that there is real diversity in the sport, not only for people of color, but also for different sporting backgrounds. They aren’t just looking for professional racers, but they are opening up the sport to serious athletes in motorbikes, freestyle scooters, skiing, water skiing and so on. eSC is a new sport that can attract athletes from multiple disciplines.

I have also been really impressed by the professionalism of the eSC organization. We had a testing event in Italy at the end of July, where we got to ride the professional S1-X racing e-scooter. The test was really enjoyable and the eSkootr was amazing to ride. It is so quick and it leans in the corners.

What were some challenges in learning to ride the e-scooter as a competitive sport?

Unlike car and motorcycle racing where the racers are sitting the entire time, eSkootr racing is extremely taxing on the legs as it requires you to stand the entire time. It’s a real sport that requires athletes with a good level of fitness. Luckily, during my high school and college years, I had been a professional ice skater and track athlete. I thought competitive figure skating was hard on my legs, but this is a whole other animal.

There is a major challenge in developing your own racing technique. There are no set rules yet, there are no right or wrong ways of riding the e-scooter. At this point, everyone is still figuring out how to be the fastest. There is also a challenge in the fact that there are no purpose-built racetracks for e-scooters yet. As of now, we are training on karting tracks or something similar since e-scooters don’t have a proper place in the racing world yet.

New York City races ahead with its e-scooter pilot. Will slow and steady pay off?

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In 2017 e-scooters began rolling into U.S. cities, mostly unregulated and taking many cities by surprise. Since 2017, scooter operators and cities have mostly found ways to work together, allowing e-scooters to operate. Working together has involved permits, rules, regulations, and enforcement.

Rules and regulations in most cities are related to deployment, speed limits, parking rules, no-ride zones, equity zones, and safety protocols. Those cities where e-scooters have been allowed to operate took the approach of allowing this new form of mobility to operate while analyzing the benefits of e-scooter programs.

While many cities embraced e-scooter programs after some growing pains and some adjustment to how, where, and when they were allowed to operate; some cities remained firmly against the idea of allowing e-scooters to take up permanent residence on already congested urban city streets, sidewalks, and bike paths.

New York City

The Big Apple, Empire City, Gotham, Metropolis, the City So Nice They Named It Twice, the Concrete Jungle, the City That Never Sleeps. Whatever you want to call it, until recently the largest mobility market in the U.S., New York City, remained decisively free of e-scooters.

After watching from the sidelines for the past few years, New York City has finally taken the plunge and on August 17th, 2021 launched its first-ever shared e-scooter pilot program. Phase I of the city’s pilot will see up to 3,000 vehicles deployed in an area of the Bronx where over 570,000 residents live. This area of the Bronx has been described as somewhat of a transit desert and the hope is that e-scooter operators will fill a much-needed gap in mobility. A potential Phase 2 will move further South and add another 3,000 e-scooters.

Safety and Blue Systems’ Mobility Management Software

While the launch of e-scooters in New York City might not have been one of the first or fastest to launch, behind the scenes NYCDOT staff had been busy working for months in preparation for the launch of this pilot. Not only did they have to choose the three scooter companies that would be allowed to operate during the pilot, but NYCDOT also had to choose a data aggregator to help manage the data being collected by the operators. After a rigorous process, the city chose Lime, Bird, and Veo as the scooter operators, and Blue Systems was chosen as the data aggregator to create a platform that would allow NYCDOT staff to monitor and regulate the pilot program. The long-term sustainability of an e-scooter program in NYC was always going to be dependent on e-scooter companies demonstrating that scooters could operate safely where there is already a high level of competition for the streets, bike lanes, greenways, and sidewalks. Blue System had the software platform that met the needs of New York City and provided the best chance of ensuring this scooter program maintained a ‘safety first’ approach.

For the last several months NYCDOT and Blue Systems have been working together on the creation of policies and custom software features that would allow for restricting new users’ speed limit to 10 miles per hour on the users’ first three trips. New users are not allowed to ride during night hours between 8:30 pm and 6:00 am to minimize accidents, which have a higher rate of occurrence in overnight hours. Finally, all new users are required to take an in-app training course prior to using e-scooter services. The ability to customize Blue Systems’ Platform was a critical component in choosing a data aggregator for this pilot.

Safety and innovation – the core of Blue Systems’ success

Cities including Los Angeles, San Jose, London, Lyon (France), Neom (Saudi Arabia) and others have trusted Blue Systems and their Mobility Manager Platform to help shape, manage, and regulate complex mobility programs. With years of experience in Smart mobility, Blue Systems has proven to be the most innovative SaaS provider when dealing with the complexity of mobility programs. The company was the first to integrate data from delivery robots onto the same platform used by cities to monitor e-scooter programs. They are also poised to announce the integration of data from sidewalk riding technology in collaboration with a well-known operator. James Delgado, Vice President of North America for Blue Systems stated, safety and innovation have always been at the core of our mission in providing cities with mobility management software. In the past, cities have had to rely on off-the-shelf software that did not provide the innovative and safety-driven features that we provide through our Mobility Manager.

Blue Systems provides their Mobility Manager for LACI’s Zero Emission Delivery Zone in Santa Monica. It is the first of its kind collaboration in the U.S. where robot operators including Kiwibot and Coco have worked closely with Blue Systems to demonstrate how data can be used to measure greenhouse gas emissions. Delgado added, the integration of freight delivery robots and measuring of GHG is the first of its kind. There is more to mobility than scooters and we want to provide cities with a platform that evolves as fast as mobility does.

The tortoise or the hare

While New York City wasn’t the first big city to launch an e-scooter pilot program, their slow and steady approach might just prove to be like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Just because you start off like a flash, doesn’t mean you’ll win the race; especially if the race is to a program where safety and equity are a priority and long-term sustainability is the finish line.

F1’s Top Team Gets Into the E-Scooter Game With RBS#01

(photo/Red Bull Racing)

Is F1 too easy for Red Bull Racing? The fact that the race team just launched a new e-scooter tells us maybe it is.

Want a Red Bull Racing vehicle to call your own? You can’t get behind the wheel of Max Verstappen‘s RB18, but you can order a RBR e-scooter. Designed by Red Bull Racing, it’s a performance scooter tweaked and tuned by the same engineers who work on the Formula 1 car.

Yes, it’s a scooter designed by F1 engineers, but is that just marketing puffery? A close look at the RBS#01 shows that it isn’t.

Carbon Fiber Scooter: Hypercar Cool

For a start, this scooter is made from carbon fiber. The lightweight material isn’t an F1 exclusive, but Red Bull Racing is very well-versed in the use of the composite material. Carbon fiber helps keep the weight of the scooter down — it’s still 51 pounds — and it looks race-y too.

The Red Bull e-scooter’s naked carbon finish looks like something you’d expect from a high-end supercar, not an economical electric runabout. It’s more Pagani than pedestrian.

Finite element analysis (FEA) done by the same designers and using the same software as the RB18 ensures this scooter is strong. Red Bull Racing says it can handle a 3.5G (g-force) crash into a curb with a 210-pound rider on board. Slide sideways into a curb, and it can take 1.75 g (g-force). Want to do more sweet stunts? Jump or drop the RBS#01 and it can take even higher load forces.

Large-diameter wheels are fitted with 11-inch-wide semi-slick tires. Red Bull Racing says the high-performance tires let you lean confidently into corners and you won’t need to worry about potholes or drainage grates. When it’s time to stop, the scooter has four-piston hydraulic disc brakes. No, they aren’t carbon like the F1 cars.

Red Bull Racing E-Scooter: Most Powerful on Market

The e-scooter has a 750W motor, meaning it makes almost exactly one horsepower. While that might not sound like a lot, the electric motor also makes 59 pound-feet of torque, so it has some real get-up-and-go. The team says that this is the most powerful e-scooter on the market and that it delivers “brutal” acceleration — though we’ll have to try it before we’d agree on that last bit.

A 760Wh battery gives the e-scooter a top speed limited to 29 mph and a 37-mile max range. It can be recharged in 5 hours from a standard wall plug. The RBS#01 scooter can hold a rider up to 265 pounds and can climb hills up to 25 degrees.

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Even the handlebars, which the brand is calling a “cockpit,” are cool. There’s a small LCD display that gives you your speed and other data as well as a thumb-operated throttle. An integrated LED light gives you enough lumens for night riding as well as daytime fun.

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The incredibly sleek design hides all cabling and is the result of hundreds of hours of design work. But it’s the bare carbon that catches our attention.

Is Ducking the Same as DRS?

There is no kinetic energy recovery and no drag-reduction system — unless you count ducking down as you approach the scooter’s top speed. It does come with an oversized deck, so you can find your footing and get a stable ride.

Red Bull Racing E-Scooter: Price Availability

At 6,000, this isn’t a cheap scooter. But it’s the only one designed by Formula 1 engineers, so you can have at least one thing in common with the now two-time F1 champ.

Preorders for the Red Bull Racing RBS#01 scooter are now open. A 600 deposit gets you on the list, with 5,400 due when it ships, for a total price of 6,000.

Red Bull Racing expects the scooters to start shipping next summer and is offering free delivery on the premium ride.

‘Jeep’ Razor Scooter Adds 35% to the Price and Nothing Else

Jeep partnered with the brand that revived the scooter in 1997, Razor. And together, they’re making a play on the electric scooter market. Read more…

High-performance YCOM S1-X eSkootr

Discover how YCOM made the official electric race scooter adopted by all competitors in the eSkootr Championship.

Since its creation in 2008, the Italian company YCOM has succeeded in carving out its place thanks to its production prowess and precisely its ability to craft lightweight structures in composite materials. Initially focused on automotive sports, it has managed to apply its racing experience more widely to offer solutions to the automotive, marine and aerospace industries based on this very unique perspective.

A return to the source

While the company has achieved worldwide recognition as a result of its diversification, it was only so long before it found a way back to its roots, announcing its role as official eSkootr supplier for the Electric Scooter Championship (eSC). As the eSC requires all participants to use the same vehicle, the S1-X Skootr model will be the showcase for a new sport. It’s this two-fold opportunity that appealed to YCOM Founder and CBDO Nicola Scimeca.

A new player in EV sports

When Hrag Sarkissian and Khalil Beschir created the eSkootr Championship, it was clear that they would need to draw on many experts to fulfil their dream. Central to the birth of the concept were ex-F1 and Le Mans racer Alex Wurz, who was appointed eSC Safety ambassador, and Formula E Champion Lucas Di Grassi, who became the series’ Sustainability Ambassador. With a like-minded group of individuals, they helped to pull together the eSkootr’s initial specification. Without an existing race eScooter precedent, the team looked to the growing performance eScooter market to establish a benchmark specification. Even at the top end of the market, a road-going high-performance scooter still requires compromise to handle the unpredictable surfaces and obstacles found in the real world.

A racetrack, however, has no bumps, kerbs or broken surfaces, so a race eScooter can travel even faster, which demands further adjustment to ensure stability at racing speeds. It was necessary that the chassis be strong and safe, both for handling stability and for protecting the electrical equipment inside, so carbon fibre was the material of choice. Safety for engineers and mechanics was also important, resulting in a safe nominal battery voltage level below 60v.

An F1-worthy eSkootr

Reworking the prototype developed by Williams Advanced Engineering (a spin-off of the famed F1 manufacturer), YCOM will produce the official electric scooter models participants will ride to go head-to-head in the inaugural season of the eSC. S1-X Skootr performance is rival actual racing motors. With its distinctive F1 style, it boasts powerful twin motors (2x6kW) that drive the scooter’s full 35 kilograms to top speeds higher than 100km/h. Fitted with hydraulic brakes and set on 6.5” wheels, its chassis is fashioned from carbon fibre, while its fairings and panels are fabricated using natural fibre composites.

The eSkootr racing chassis, derived from flax, combines strength with lightweight

The scooters use Bcomp flax fibre composite technologies instead of traditional carbon fibre for the bodywork. Used in many motorsport series including Formula 1, Formula E and GT racing, Bcomp’s solutions are generally able to achieve the same stiffness and weight as thin-walled monolithic carbon fibre laminates.

In the case of the eSC scooters, where powerRibs cannot be used because of limited space, Bcomp’s technologies still cut cradle-to-gate CO2 emissions by approximately 80% while maintaining the necessary stiffness of standard carbon and offering up to 250% improvement in vibration damping.

ampliTex fabrics also increase safety as they have a ductile and blunt breaking behaviour and do not shatter to sharp and potentially dangerous debris when damaged like carbon fibre does.

While carbon fibre parts are normally discarded after use or ‘down-cycled’, Bcomp’s alternative enables the option of sustainable thermal energy recovery which results in a highly efficient process without waste.

Exploring the future challenges of urban mobility

Beyond a love of speed and competition, sustainability is an underpinning value that unites eSC and YCOM. As eSC promotes new solutions for electric mobility by providing a platform for them in the form of major public events with extensive media coverage, Hrag Sarkissian, eSkootr Championship co-founder and CEO pays tribute to YCOM’s contributions of technology and savoir-faire.

Hrag Sarkissian, eSkootr Championship co-founder and CEO said :“It has been fantastic to see the progress that YCOM has made since our partnership began. Their fast and flexible approach to engineering, development, prototyping and production has meant that we now have 10 S1-X Skootrs ready to race and have completed an extensive testing program. 20 more scooters will be ready in the few next months. I don’t think this would have been possible without YCOM.

The YCOM team’s ability to translate their knowledge, expertise and experience from other fastpaced motorsport development projects to a completely novel electric micromobility race vehicle highlights just how quickly they can adapt while maintaining an exceptional standard of engineering and production.

Our ambition is for eSC to push the e-mobility envelope and Champion sustainable solutions, YCOM aligns perfectly with these aims and this long-term partnership is already proving invaluable.”

YCOM views the eSkootr Championship as a formidable environment for pushing design and performance to their limits and testing them prior to offering “tamer” solutions once the market matures and demand has increased for this type of vehicle.

The first eSkootr Championship (eSC) will occur in 2022, between 30 competitors on specially designed circuits from 400- to 800-metres long.

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