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Ford buys SPIN electric scooters


Ford Smart Mobility buys Spin scooter sharing to offer first and last mile transportation options

Ford Smart Mobility LLC has announced their purchase of Spin – a San Francisco-based electric scooter sharing company.  The acquisition of Spin enables Ford to provide yet another alternative transportation option for fast paced urban dwellers.

Today’s generation urban dwellers – faced with increasing costs, urban traffic congestion, parking limitations and pollution – are choosing to forego automobile ownership and utilize a range of alternatives that are cost effective and easy to use.  For many, public transportation does not adequately address issues of geography and timeliness of service. 

Studies have shown that most urban trips were less than three miles and often involved multiple modes of transportation on a single trip.

Ford Mobility

Already participating the urban mobility market with their Chariot microtransit service (nine cities), Smart Mobility observed the urban landscape continuing its rapid evolution – demanding ever more flexible discrete mobility service options.

Ford Smart Mobility formed a Ford X division to evaluate additional opportunity for them to offer an effective ‘first and last mile’ mobility solution that was low cost and quick and easy to use.  Looking deeper look into the ride-sharing market, they observed the emergence of, what they called, micro-mobility services that included bicycle and scooter sharing. 

Ford X then partnered with Purdue University to develop and launch a scooter sharing concept program call ‘Jelly’ as a proof of concept.  Ford X also developed and implemented a bicycle sharing program known as Ford Go Bikes in San Francisco during this period.

Confirming the demand for an additional mobility offering that addressed first and last mile transportation

Ford Mobility
Why Spin?

One of the key reasons for the Ford Smart Mobility selection of Spin for acquisition was the Spin business model that emphasized responsible partnership with the municipal entities in their planned service area.

Across the country, the dockless scooter rental business emerged and spread quickly to many urban areas without any coordination and approval of operating plans by the city. The resulting uncontrolled littering of scooters all across the city and public safety issues with operators on city streets or sidewalks led to shutdowns of those early operators by many of those cities. 


Ford Mobility

Spin is committed to working closely with cities and universities to plan and implement micro-mobility solutions responsibly, safely and sustainably as they grow.  They do not launch without permission, they share their usage data with cities and work with local officials and campuses to design educational tools for riding and parking of scooters.

Ford Mobility

Spin scooters are affordable and easy to use.  The cost is $1 to rent and 15 cents per minute of use.  Using a smartphone app, the user is able to unlock and rent a Spin scooter – picking up and dropping off – at designated places in the allowed service area.

Ford Mobility

Ford has initiated Spin service in Detroit effective immediately and will work with the Spin team to identify additional markets – for growth to over 100 markets in the next 18 months.

In addition to Detroit, Spin operates its scooters in Coral Gables, FL, Washington, DC, Charlotte, NC, Durham, NC, Lexington, KY, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI and Long Beach, CA and five college campuses.

Ford Mobiity
About Ford Smart Mobility

 Ford Smart Mobility LLC, is a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. It is part of Ford’s expanded business model strategy to be both an auto and a mobility company.  

Chartered to aggressively pursue emerging opportunities, through Ford Smart Mobility, Ford plans to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data analytics. 

Ford Mobiity

Ford Smart Mobility LLC will build on the products, technologies and Ford Smart Mobility innovations work already under way at Ford Motor Company. Working with Ford’s existing product development, research and advanced engineering, marketing and data analytics teams, it will develop commercially ready mobility services and invest in promising mobility-related ventures. 

Competing like a start up company, Ford Smart Mobility LLC will also design and build mobility services on its own and in collaboration with other start-ups and tech companies.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC has operations in Palo Alto, California and Dearborn, Michigan.

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