The Ford-owned scooter company Spin has make public that it is expanding to Europe, with plans to launch in many European cities including Germany before the end of the year.
The car constructor purchased the San Francisco-based start-up in November 2018 for an expected $100 million (£77 million) – though Spin won’t endorse the figure – as a part of a push into mobility services, with another San Francisco-based company known as Chariot, which runs a shuttle service in the city.
Now Ford is prepared to take Spin global, and will be launching its first global fleet of scooters in Cologne in spring, with more German cities set to pursue. The company will join the likes of Tier, Lime, Voi and Circ which all provide scooter-sharing services across the country.
Moreover, Spin says it will be applying for a Paris e-scooter license in March and hopes to get a portion of the UK’s pending e-scooter share trials, after a government consultation, which is expected next month. At the moment, it’s prohibited to ride electric scooters on the road, pavement or cycle lanes in the UK.
Discussing about the expansion plans, Spin’s co-founder and president Euwyn Pool said: “Last year we raised the number of US cities in which we function by 600 percent. We look forward to working jointly with cities and universities throughout Europe to bring the joyful, seamless and safe Spin experience to the global community.”
Since Ford acquired the company, Spin says it has been asked to take part in infrastructure and product projects to make scooter sharing more supportable. This includes installing charging hubs, which motivate people to park their scooters in a particular zone, similar to London’s Boris bikes docking stations, therefore reducing scooter clutter and upgrading the accessibility of the vehicles. It’s also been able to increase the team from 24 employees to over 600. This figure will rise as the company moves into Europe.
The electric scooter market is growing across the world. According to PitchBook, financiers put more than $25 billion (£19 million) into mobility start-ups in the initial nine months of 2019. As the UK government gets nearer to launching a discussion on the vehicles’ usage on UK roads, the start-ups are preparing their growth plans. Swedish-based Voi has appealed for regulation on scooters and has vowed to work with the government in the possibility of a review.
London mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita is an admirer of the vehicles and says they should be legalized in order to cut car use in the city.
It looks like the conflict for scooter supremacy in the UK is only getting started.