“Are we crazy or what?” Seat Mo director Lucas Casanovas is happy to admit as much, but he’s also absolutely confident that this shift to electrified mobility solution is the right decision. Seat, a stalwart of traditional car manufacturing for more than 70 years, is venturing into the a world of electric mobility, spearheaded by its new Mo sub-brand. The new e-mobility division will initially sell the Seat Mo 125 electric scooter plus, in selected markets, two e-scooters: the Seat Mo 65 and Seat Mo 25. Radical? Maybe, although history might prove that Seat just moved first. Why is Seat moving into the e-mobility market? Casanovas said the answer is simple: Seat’s car buyers are younger than for most brands, highlighting that the average age of a new car buyer in Europe is around 56 to 58, whereas for Seat it\u0027s 46 to 48. “Because of the financial crisis in 2008, people’s salaries have remained stable but cars are more expensive. Young people especially are less willing to spend money on a car and prioritise other things like their home and other commodities. “Then we found that in some countries, the number of people getting a driving licence has dropped 40% or 50%, depending on the country. If young people don\u0027t have a driving licence, then of course they will not buy a car. “Based on that, we said to ourselves ‘the young generations need to move from A to B, but if they don\u0027t buy cars, what are they doing to move?’ “We saw this increasing use of kick-scooters, motorcycles and other mobility services like Uber, for example. So we said \u0027if we don\u0027t provide these new mobility solutions to the younger generations, they will go somewhere else\u0027. “This is when we decided to go to new micro-mobility products but also to micro-mobility services.” E-scooters are illegal to ride on public roads and pavements in the UK. Is this a concern for Seat Mo? The UK government has been running a trial rental scheme for the past year to learn more about the safety of e-scooters and is potentially looking to legalise the devices next year. “I think the UK is almost the only country in Europe which doesn\u0027t allow e-scooters on the street,” said Casanovas. “But the point is that young people need to move from A to B. “The law should be changed. This is something that here we can try to influence a little bit, but of course we aren\u0027t the lawmakers. I think e-scooters with proper legislation are a very good means of transport.” Why choose a Seat Mo e-scooter over other products? Seat Mo offers two e-scooters, the larger-battery 65, which has a range of 40 miles, and the 25, which has a range of 15.5 miles. “There\u0027s a lot of choice in front of people, particularly from China, but what you get with our e-scooters is the trust under the brand Seat,\u0022 said Casanovas. “We were convinced from the very beginning that we wanted to put the Seat name up front. “But that brought its own pressures, because it meant we had to make sure that we offered our customers the best service and the best products. We don\u0027t want to harm or to damage our reputation.” Will we see the Seat Minimó concept go into production? Two years ago, Seat unveiled the Minimó concept, an electric quadricycle that looked very similar to the 1+1 Renault Twizy. “We\u0027re sure that the Minimó will come, but the existing concepts we have right now are still not good enough,\u0022 said Casanovas. “With the Renault Twizy concept, it has two disadvantages. \u0022You sit very narrow and in a very low seating position, and when driving in the city where you have SUVs and buses, you can feel insecure because they\u0027re so much bigger. It’s like driving a classic Mini from the \u002760s. “There\u0027s also the issue of the single door in the front to get into the back seat, which is more complicated for elderly people, so this is another reason why this concept is not ideal.” “Then you have the Citroën Ami, which is a very good concept that\u0027s appealing to young customers, but then you can’t park in a motorcycle space, so both these cars have pros and cons. “We keep investigating which might be the ideal concept for us. It has taken us a bit longer to come to the market with a final proposition, because both concepts have pros and cons. “Since we just have one chance to do it right, we\u0027re analysing in detail the customer needs of the young generations.” Why is Seat offering a subscription based service? Seat is merging its products and services to give its customers more flexibility, said Casanovas, highlighting that time-poor customers want the most seamless service possible. “In France, for €250 [£212] per month, you can have a Seat Ibiza car plus the electric scooter plus our kick e-scooter together in one pack. “Our idea is that for the weekend you need the car, but to go to the gym, you may need only the motorcycle, and then for your kids to go to school just the e-scooter. “We\u0027re merging products and services because we have to be prepared to offer the maximum flexibility to our customers.” Casanovas isn’t about to outline Mo’s future model plan, but it’s clear that the brand has the capacity to push new ideas, based on modelling that suggests travel is set to change dramatically over the next decade, from short-term vehicle leasing through to car-sharing schemes, the rise of electric mobility and pressure in cities to reduce emissions and congestion. It’s not alone - Renault has Mobilize, Toyota has Kinto and other car makers are launching similar initiatives through partnerships. But by moving earlier, faster and potentially with more scale through its association with the Volkswagen Group, Seat is hoping that Mo can give it an advantage that helps it thrive long into the future - whatever it might look like. The Bicycle Association estimated that around 360,000 e-scooters were sold last year. Legalising e-scooters for use on public roads could help save more than 44,000 tonnes of CO2 per year in the UK – equivalent to the annual emissions from 29,000 cars - according to research by our sister brand Move Electric. E-scooters can be ridden on roads in Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden, with many operating rental schemes. All transport, including for industrial uses in London, makes up 25.2% of the city’s carbon emissions. (Source: Centre for London) The global e-scooter market is set to reach $20 billion by 2025. (Source: Natwest) Research by e-scooter start-up Bird found that e-scooters and e-bikes could account for more than 20% of trips taken in Paris by 2030. Halfords, which sells a selection of e-scooters, saw a 184% increase in sales year on year in November 2020 for e-mobility products.