Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Ford gets into the e-scooter craze with Spin acquisition

Ford gets into the e-scooter craze with Spin acquisition

Ford's move adds a major new player to the hot segment that includes Uber, Lyft and others operating in dozens of cities worldwide, allowing smartphone users to unlock and ride the scooters and leave them anywhere, with no dock required. "We look forward to learning more about scooters as a mobility solution", a Ford representative tells Andrew J. Hawkins of the news site, part of Vox Media.

A community backlash led to public hearings, cease and desist letters, and eventually the city issued a temporary ban on e-scooters.

Spin is Ford's fourth investment in the micromobility space-the company also invested in Jelly, another e-scooter company, Chariot, a ride-sharing service, and bike-share company GoBikes.

"They do not launch without permission; they share usage data with cities; and they work with local officials and university campuses to design educational tools around parking and riding rules", Madra said in a blog post expected to go up Thursday.

Founded in 2016 in San Francisco, Spin was one of a few companies which began offering scooter services in the city before gaining full government permission. The Ford X team resides inside of Ford Smart Mobility and it's studied scooter sharing services to understand the best approach to deployment.

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California-based Spin operates in 13 cities and college campuses and plans to expand to several new markets in the coming months.

By combining our strength in automotive research and development with our commitment to connected and autonomous vehicles and our emerging software business, we are expanding our portfolio of scalable mobility solutions meant to provide a seamless transportation experience for the modern consumer.

The vehicles have attracted controversy since launching in San Francisco and other big cities throughout the US. Affordability, combined easily of use and electrified power, also means scooters can help tackle challenges such as traffic congestion, parking availability and pollution. "Spin is an important step towards realizing our ambitious vision for the future of urban mobility".

Poon and his co-founders Derrick Ko and Zaizhuang Cheng started Spin in San Francisco and first launched in Seattle's pilot program in the summer of 2017.

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