The father of McLaren Formula 1 star Lando Norris believes his new range of electric scooters can benefit racing paddocks around the world, by helping teams stay mobile without polluting the planet.
Entrepreneur Adam Norris – who made his fortune running a huge British pension company – is the founder of Pure Electric, an e-scooter business that he created after Lando signed his first F1 contract with McLaren.
With his son being well looked after by one of the sport’s greatest teams, Norris Sr felt he needed another passion project to get behind.
“Until McLaren, looking after Lando was a five days a week job,” he told Motorsport.com. “I’d then spend one day at work and one at home, it really was that relentless. Dealing with the teams and all the financial stuff was a really busy time.
“But, when he signed for McLaren, it was very much ‘here you go!’ and step back. The original mission was ‘will he survive in F1?’ and he’s so settled there now.
“I still go to quite a few of the races, but they’re such a competent team that they don’t need me, so my five to six days a week is now on this project.”
Pure produces what he feels is a revolutionary new range of e-scooters, aimed with different needs and prices in mind. And it was his exposure to racing paddocks, while Lando was climbing the ranks towards F1, that gave Adam the idea to build a company around the requirement of getting from A-to-B over a distance efficiently with zero emissions.
Not only that, the motorsport world was also a perfect market for his innovative company’s products as well as their inspiration. Much like Lando himself, the e-scooters are compact and pretty nippy.
“We’ve just had an order for 20 from one Le Mans team, and 10 from another,” he said. “I look back on the days with Lando in paddocks from karting all the way through to F1, and they were such good fun times, with great people.
“But getting around a big space like Silverstone as a competitor can feel like a nightmare sometimes, when the pits can be half a mile away from your paddock. When Lando did the Daytona 24 Hours, we were travelling miles from the car park to the pit lane or RV or wherever.
“Motorsport and horse riding [a sphere where Lando’s sister participates] are events where you have huge, spread-out events where people need to cover some ground to get around. It’s a complete coincidence, but motorsport is the number one place we’re selling product in sports right now.
“What it’s great is that you can fold our product up, put it in the back of your car, arrive at the track, get to the race truck, go to signing-on, scrutineering, drivers’ briefing – all of that – it’s such an easy way to get around the paddock.”
E-scooters present a perfect form of transport in racing paddocks, but Pure also wants to have a more profound impact on the global community.
“I think we’re polluting too much,” explained Norris. “I do believe we should do what we can for the environment. Fundamentally, cities are getting clogged up with congestion. How do we change that?
“I’m a car fanatic, so I’ve had Aston Martins, Porsches and Mercedes, but I’ve moved towards a hybrid Range Rover and an electric Porsche Taycan, because I believe we must do more for the environment and especially urban pollution.”
Norris’s entry into this market began with the Pure Air in 2019, the British brand’s answer to high-volume, low-price, Chinese-made e-scooters. Norris and his team only refined its design over time, and while Pure’s competitors raced to the bottom of the bargain bin, he aimed for the top end of the market.
“Our idea was to produce the safest, most compact, portable, practical and beautiful product in the world,” he added. “And we’re going for the Dyson-style market, so this is kind of the Audi or Porsche premium product e-scooter. So, like Dyson, it’s something that you’re proud to own – it’s just way better than everything else out there.”
The all-new Pure Advance e-scooter’s riding position places the rider’s feet parallel to the direction of travel, rather than the regular ‘one foot in front of the other’ way of riding, thanks to two fold-up floorboards.
A lower centre of gravity enhances handling, while self-centring steering prioritizes safety.
The aluminium alloy frame construction is lightweight and sturdy, housing the 37V, 9.6Ah Lithium-ion battery with an IP65 waterproof rating. There’s a lot of attention to detail too, with turning indicators to improve visibility.
Paired to the Advance’s 500W (710W Peak) electric motor, that power pack propels the base model and foldable Flex variant to a top speed of 15.5mph (25kph) and a 24.8-mile (40km) range. In the higher-spec Advance+ model, a 36V, 12Ah power unit yields the same max speed but boosts range to 31 miles (50 km).
“I also see it being very much for students,” Norris said. “If you’re going to have a way of getting around, it’s a lot less than a car. So, it means you can have something that’s really nice but for a relatively low cost.”
With a price point way below automobiles, even the costliest e-scooters are more affordable than today’s cheapest e-bikes. For that reason, the Advance presents a convincing value proposition, especially when considering the model’s progressive features, top-notch build quality, and state-of-the-art tech.
The UK-based firm currently serves its homeland – where its new products launched this month – as well as France, Spain and Belgium, but as Norris put it, Pure’s “intentions are international.” That includes plans to expand into the US market by August 2023 (homologation pending) as well as Dubai and Saudi Arabia later in the year.
For more info on Pure Electric scooters, check out this story on InsideEVs.