29 Mar Race spec: the S1-X versus regular mobility scooter. Interview with Dario Scalzotto, YCOM PM for the eSkootr project
Today, we are with Dario Scalzotto, YCOM Project Manager, taking a closer look at the racing e-scooter that YCOM has designed, developed, manufactured and tested for the eSkootr Championship (eSC). The world’s first micromobility racing series, eSC is intended to pioneer advanced e-mobility technologies and encourage the adoption of low-emission personal transportation.
Drawing in racing and athletic talent for the inaugural 2022 season, testing has already demonstrated the incredible performance of the S1-X. Riders were surprised by its performance in comparison to the publicly-accessible e-scooters now common in cities around the world.
Why the stark difference? Let’s check out some of the fundamental characteristics that make the S1-X the Formula 1 race car of the e-scooter world!
Dario Scalzotto, Project Manager
While most commuter scooters are little more than a platform with a handlebar, the racers in the eSC need bodywork that will protect them from the wind and help to minimise drag. Working alongside sustainable light weighting company, Bcomp, we developed an aerodynamics package for the S1-X made entirely from natural fibre composites, flax! With 80% fewer cradle-to-gate emissions than carbon fibre, this sustainable solution closely aligned with eSC’s vision for cleaner, greener motorsport.
Powertrain & control
Needless to say, the S1-X has a few tricks up its sleeve. Unlike the vast majority of commuter e-scooters, the S1-X uses dual hub motors in combination with a 1.33kWh battery. While a street scooter may have around 250W of power, the S1-X eclipses this with a combined 12000W.
In order to enhance high-speed stability, grip and acceleration, we developed a unique control system that manages the torque delivery between the front and rear wheels. The control system also offers riders 5 different power modes for each wheel, including a 20% temporary power boost function. In addition, the S1-X uses a twist throttle like a motorcycle, rather than the conventional thumb lever.
Chassis, brakes & sticky rubber
As with any motorsport project, weight was a central concern. The S1-X uses a carbon fibre chassis to provide the required stiffness and a safe and crash-resistant location to house the lithium-ion battery. The result is a high-performance e-scooter that weighs just 33 kg for a total of 41kg with the battery installed. In addition, the steering column has also been made from carbon fibre, light and stiff for immediate and direct steering feedback.
To slow the S1-X down rapidly, the e-scooter features separate front and rear brakes, with each operated by a lever on the handlebar: like in a motorbike, with the right you control the front, with the left the rear.
It wouldn’t be motorsport without the smell of high-performance rubber! The S1-X uses motorsport-grade rubber compounds to achieve maximum traction and high lean angles of more than 50˚.
Rent an e-Scooter as part of a share programme and you will find it limited to a top speed of around 25kph. The S1-X? Riders will be reaching speeds in excess of 100kph, plenty of pace for the motorsport circuits the eSC will race on (400-800m).
During testing, riders have been able to experience the maximum power of the S1-X. While usually limited to 80%, the full output can be temporarily deployed thanks to an integrated ‘boost’ system. Riders are able to activate the boost function by pushing and holding a button on the handlebar. The boost time is limited for each rider, who must choose how and when to use the additional power to overtake and improve their lap times.
Given the speeds, cornering and fiercely competitive nature of the eSC, it is no surprise that riders need to wear a lot of safety gear. Closer to a Moto GP racer than your average Tuesday e-scooter commuter, eSC riders wear full race suits and full-face helmets. Contrast this with e-scooter riders travelling around cities using bicycle helmets or no helmets at all.
So, there you go! It is clear that while it may have some similarities to common e-scooters, the S1-X is actually a purpose-built racing machine developed and manufactured by a team with decades of top-level motorsport engineering experience – YCOM!