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Ford Scoots Into Micro-mobility Sphere with Spin
The latest acquisition for Ford is an electric scooter company.
Ford has just announced a new purchase that gives the company its latest electric vehicle. And no, it’s not a sedan, a coupe, or even an SUV. The latest acquisition for Ford is an electric scooter company.
Spin is a San Francisco-based company that provides an electric scooter sharing service. Uniquely, the scooters don’t need a dock. That means that unlike more common scooter and bicycle-sharing services, users don’t need to worry about where they leave the scooter. No need to find a central station or location to lock it up. Just leave the scooter wherever you happen to be going.
In order to access the scooters, users find the closest one using an app and GPS and then can sign it out. If you’re wondering how they get charged up without a dock, there’s a team that works behind the scenes to grab low-battery or out of area scooters and plug them in until they are ready to go back to service.
The acquisition was made by Ford Smart Mobility. That’s a subsidiary of the motor company started in 2016 to invest in and help grow new mobility services. It’s part of the company’s plan to “be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics,” it said back in 2016.
Part of the company’s function is making investments and purchases like this latest one, in addition to working to build on Ford’s own mobility projects and ideas.
The two call Spin a micro-mobility provider. It gives customers the ability to travel the last mile from public transit options or to make short trips in their local area. The service is currently in 13 US cities.
Sunny Madra, Vice President of Ford X (a division of the Smart Mobility subsidiary) wrote that these micro-mobility services are part of trying to “help our customers get places more easily, more quickly and less expensively.” Madra cited a report that shows nearly half of all trips made in the US are three miles or less. Distances better suited to new mobility solutions than to cars as we deal with increasing traffic, parking, and pollution concerns.
“As more people consider scooters to be a viable mobility option, now is the right time for Ford to work closely with Spin’s highly experienced and dedicated team to help expand their service to more cities,” Madra wrote, adding that Spin was launching Detroit service the same day as the purchase announcement.
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