Ford buys electric scooter sharing company Spin

Lloyd Doyle
November 12, 2018

"As more people consider scooters to be a viable mobility option, now's the right time for Ford" to work closely with Spin, the automaker said in a statement. The Wall Street Journal is going with "around $80 million to $90 million".

Ford Motor Company announced Thursday it will buy scooter ride-share startup Spin, in an effort to build its mobility business beyond full-size vehicles.

Earlier this year, Ford launched a strategic partnership with Purdue University to fund a project called Jelly; similar ride models were offered as part of a research study into determining how to best launch the scooters in different communities.

"This is more than a craze", Madra tells Ian Thibodeau in the Detroit News. "It's one of the spaces where we're convinced there is starting to be a serious product market". By comparison, Madra said it took Uber three years to reach 3 million rides. Many people started riding the scooters on the sidewalks and breaking other traffic laws.


Lime, Reuters noted, has accrued $450mn in funding with a valuation of over $4bn since it launched in 2017. Critics of the services argue some companies dump hundreds of scooters in a city without getting permission from local governments. "It has attracted $400 million in investments and is valued at $2 billion". Spin is now available in approximately 12 cities, including Long Beach, California, Detroit, and Coral Gables, Florida. This summer, the city issued permits for its e-scooter pilot program to lesser-known companies Skip and Scoot, but regulators denied Lime, Bird, and Spin.

Ford is taking its mobility business on two wheels.

Scooters, like bicycles before them, are being presented as a solution to growing congestion and public transport squeezes in cities. "And last week Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company might make an electric bike", McFarland continues. Spin is a leading micro-mobility service provider, with operations in 13 cities and campuses across the U.S.

For Ford, the deal adds scooters to a sprawling array of future transportation services, which already include autonomous vehicles and on-demand shuttles. "He wanted to get from his house to the brat place and then to a bar, stat, but the stops seemed too far apart to walk, and too close to drive".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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