Ford has acquired Spin, an electric scooter company that hosts a scooter-sharing service based in San Francisco. Spin operates in 13 locations in the United States.
“Everywhere you look around the U.S., people’s mobility choices are changing…” Ford wrote in a post on Medium. “At Ford, the products and services we offer need to reflect these changes.”
To that effort, Ford has also launched Jelly scooters, a collaboration with Purdue University that studied the proliferation of electric scooters when they were provided on campus. The project poses e-scooters as a greener alternative to cars as long as the road infrastructure allows for them. For Ford, the electric scooter market is a chance to sell “last mile” transportation in areas where commuters use public transportation or park on the far edge of campuses.
Of Spin, Ford wrote, “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.”
Ford has examined last mile mobility as a business strategy and found that “nearly half of all trips made in the U.S. are 3 miles or less,” a niche that could be filled by scooters instead of cars.
Each Spin electric scooter costs $1 to rent and 15 cents per minute thereafter. As part of the acquisition, Spin also launched in a new market, Detroit, on Wednesday.