Ford has chosen Cologne, Germany as its first market outside of the US to launch its Spin micromobility and e-scooter brand.
Spin will also launch in Dortmund and Essen before the end of June.
Ford has priced Spin at €0.30 per minute with no fee to unlock a ride, which it says will lower the barrier to entry for micromobility.
Users can rent a Spin e-scooter ride using a smartphone app. Upon downloading and opening the app, customers will be presented with a short guided safety tutorial and can find the nearest Spin scooter via its digital map.
Spin launched in 2017 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California and already holds permits to operate in 60 cities and universities across the US.
Derrick Ko, chief executive and co-founder of Spin, said: “We are seeing heavier adoption of micromobility all around the world.
“People still need an affordable way to get around while maintaining appropriate physical distance.
“Since the emergence of Covid-19, we have facilitated more than 10,000 rides for healthcare professionals, continued to work closely with cities to fill in transportation gaps, and provide our riders with a dependable solo transportation option for their essential trips.
“As lockdown restrictions are lifting worldwide, we are resuming operations in more of our markets and ready to launch our product and service in Germany.”
Spin is seeking to partner with local governments and organizations in Europe to reduce scooter clutter and solve other commuting needs.
Felix Petersen, head of Spin Europe, said cities like London, Berlin, Paris, Milan and Brussels should all be applauded for work on offering more individual transport options like e-scooters.
He said: “Cologne has already taken measures to expand its bike lanes and impose a speed limit, making this a great environment for us to launch our first international market.
“We look forward to collaborating with Cologne and other cities in their newfound approach to use micromobility as a solution to help communities move around without crowding.”
In response to COVID-19, Spin has introduced safety and health measures for its employees to follow during operations such as increasing the frequency of disinfecting its scooters.
Every time a scooter enters the warehouse or is redeployed on the street, the upper mast and handlebars are cleaned with disinfectant. Spin employees are also being provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as single-use face masks, safety glasses and gloves for wear during every shift.
As a precautionary measure, riders are encouraged to wear gloves or clean their hands with soap or hand sanitizer before and after each ride and practice physical distancing by staying at least 1.5 meters of distance from other people.
The UK has fast tracked trials of e-scooters to start before the end of June and this has prompted a mixed reaction from PACTS, the transport safety advisers to the Government and transport authorities. PACTS has said it sees 'few benefits' to the legalisation of e-scooters in the UK, while transport authorities have said they welcome the fast tracked trials, as long as there are safeguards in place.
Spin recently posted a safety video for its users in the US market: