This is the biggest news to hit the electric scooter rental market in 2018. In an event to broaden their reach into the electric-powered personal transportation movement, Ford Motor Company is acquiring the electric scooter rental company, Spin.
While there wasn’t a confirmed reporting of the cost of the deal, some estimates go as high as $100 million.
The electric scooter rental market is booming. The two most successful electrical scooter rental companies, Bird and Lime, have reported that their users have taken over 10 million rides in less than a year. Their popularity is being fueled by a younger, active population present in sprawling urban cities, beach towns, and college campuses.
Currently, Spin operates scooter rentals in less than 20 cities and college campuses, way less than their major competition. Ford plans to rapidly ramp that expansion up by adding another 100 cities over the next 18 months to put it in direct competition with Bird and Lime. Ford does not plan on branding the scooters and will instead choose to keep the Spin name.
Bold Move by Ford
This is a bold move by Ford Motor Company. With the onset of the popularity of electric vehicles over the last decade, the concern over climate change, and the general public’s move away from gas-powered vehicles, Ford is attempting to retool its image and save its business. In the past few years they’ve made a strong push away from the internal combustion engines of old to make way for the new and exciting electric vehicle design. While they produced their first fully electric vehicle back a decade ago, the Ford Ranger EV, that particular model had several issues that resulted in a fairly quick shutdown of production.
However, Ford’s most recent purely electric vehicle, the Ford Fusion Electric, is looking to push Ford directly into the mainstream of the electric vehicle (EV) community. It was first released in 2012, and has only been improved annually since then. However, they have many more EVs on the way. Ford has announced plans to release 16 pure EVs worldwide by 2022.
Could their improvement in battery design and focus on electric ultimately result in a redesigned electric scooter that they may deploy someday? It’s always possible, especially now that they will have a vested interest in the industry.
Time will tell, and most certainly the arrival of Ford in the electric scooter rental market only heralds greater times to come for the industry.