Ford buys electric scooter sharing company Spin

Ford bought Spin which uses the Xioami M365 for its fleet.                  Sean Hollister  CNET

Ford bought Spin which uses the Xioami M365 for its fleet. Sean Hollister CNET

Ford Motor Co. agreed Thursday to acquire the electric scooter-sharing startup Spin, entering the fast-growing segment of last-mile urban mobility. "For Ford, the acquisition may protect it from a wave of new mobility options that threaten its core business of cars and trucks".

Spin operates in 13 United States cities and campuses, but Ford plans to expand it to more than 100 over the next 18 months.

"We understand mobility is not just vehicles at this point", Sunny Madra, vice president of Ford's mobility incubator, Ford X, told Automotive News, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe. "This is our play in addressing the micro mobility business". Spin is now available in approximately 12 cities, including Long Beach, California, Detroit, and Coral Gables, Florida.

Spin is committed to working hand-in-hand with cities and universities to implement micro-mobility solutions responsibly, safely and sustainably as they expand their operations.

It's been alternately hailed as a convenience or derided as a nuisance, prompting South Park to send them up in a recent episode, and officials to regulate the scooters' deployment and usage.

Knicks coach Fizdale pleasantly surprised by Porzingis progress
It's all usually some miscommunication or a misunderstanding and something you could've hashed out as an adult right there. We like the routine we got him on right now. "So why let things linger?" he said.

Earlier this week, Lime launched a three-month electric scooter pilot at Monash University in Melbourne.

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.

Spin's original idea revolved around dock-less bicycle sharing, with which the company established itself in Seattle in mid-2017, introducing 500 such bikes into the city. Bird and Lime also the same format and like Spin, offer scooters in public locations. The scooters cost $1 to rent and an additional 15 cents per minute. The scooters are "dockless", meaning that they are grab-and-go when found and likely charged overnight by individuals who collect and plug-in the scooters for a nominal fee.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Axios reported the price tag was $US40 million.

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