Ford Electric Scooter Service Heads to Europe
Ford’s scooter-sharing service is going to give it a whirl overseas.
Spin, which Ford acquired at the end of 2018 for a reported $40 million, will try out its electric scooters in Cologne, Germany this spring, then add Paris a month or two later. The company also is studying the market in Britain.
Spin heads for Germany, France, U.K.
Like other scooter-sharing services such as Bird and Lime, Spin sees great potential growth in Europe. The main reason: That’s where many large cities are beginning to restrict cars in center-city areas.
Ford Hits the Accelerator
When Ford stepped in, Spin had raised $8 million and was operating in 13 U.S. cities and college campuses. Today, the San Francisco-based service boasts an improved scooter design and has expanded to more than 60 U.S. cities and 25 universities.
Spin rents out its dockless rides via a smartphone app. Users employ a smartphone app to unlock and use a scooter. Riders can pick up a Spin wherever they find it and may leave it wherever their trip ends. On at least one campus, customers can earn a 25% discount on their next ride by parking their scooter in a Spin-designated area.
Spin is mindful of the chaos created by early scooter services, whose riders sometimes terrorized pedestrians and left heaps of discarded scooters cluttering up the sidewalks.
The company makes the point that it likes to work closely with municipalities and campuses, collecting all necessary local permissions before putting down wheels in a new market. Spin also vows not to deploy more scooters than necessary.
“Community integration is integral to our long-term success,” says Spin co-Founder and President Euwyn Poon. In Europe, adds CEO Derrick Ko, Spin is looking for cities that support “sustainable, safe and people-centered” transport options.
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