From the Dakar Rally to the streets of the big city
Alternative Minds for Alternative Energy
Get to know our most alternative partners and entrepreneurs as they talk to us about technological innovation and energy efficiency.
Finding a moment to converse in Carlos Sotelo’s busy schedule is rather complicated. For this mechanical engineer, a normal day is a dizzying swirl of work and meetings with clients, suppliers, and partners. Carlos’s crazy routine began in 2012, when, after racing in the Dakar Rally for eight years, he decided to turn his passion into work and encourage electric mobility in cities. It was then that he founded SCUTUM, a startup that develops electric scooters and which has transformed his life into a genuine roller coaster. We sat down with him to talk about the project and innovation involving Repsol’s collaboration.
Could you tell us a bit about SCUTUM?
At the beginning of my career, I was involved in the distribution and manufacturing of different motorcycle models. When the crisis struck, we had to reinvent ourselves. At the time, I also noticed the market was demanding a different way of getting around in the city. This was the context SCUTUM was born into after four years of research in 2012. We decided to create bikes that were sustainable, practical, and functional.
What has working with Repsol meant for you?
Repsol is the ideal partner because its essence is mobility and energy. Since 2014, working with this company has allowed us to find resources for the project, create a structure, establish a methodology, and assemble a team. For us, Repsol is a strategic partner.
“When the crisis struck, we had to reinvent ourselves and anticipate market demands.”
At what point in the day do you have your best ideas?
I couldn’t say, exactly. What I do know is that, to find inspiration, I need to get away, distance myself from work, get some perspective. I need to be surrounded by peace and tranquility.
What did you want to be as an adult when you were 8?
A motorcycle rider, no question about it. I made this dream come true over the eight years that I participated in different Spanish championships and the Dakar Rally. After suffering a shoulder injury, I left this to follow my passion from the other side of the business.
What is your favorite sci-fi movie?
“Star Wars: Episode I. It was quite an achievement for the time it was released.
What device would you have liked to invent?
In the world of motorcycles, which is my passion, SCUTUM is currently the project I am most enthusiastic about.
What discovery or invention are you most proud of?
Generally speaking, I feel proud of humanity’s continuous evolution. Every day, we move forward with new discoveries and inventions. If I had to choose an invention, I would say buttonless, touchscreen phones.
What does innovation mean to you?
Giving shape to inventions and turning R+D into a profitable company so that many people can enjoy them.
“To innovate means to give shape to an invention, turn it into a profitable company.”
Name a digital device you couldn’t live without..
The cell phone.
What would you say to a kid who wants to be like you?
Many things, but, if I had to say it in just one sentence: fight for projects that make the world better and, no matter how big these seem to you, never give up.
What breakthroughs do you believe human beings will see over the next 50 years?
Cell phones as such will cease to exist. We will have built-in knowledge and connectivity. But don’t ask me how this will come about, I wouldn’t know how to answer that.