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Spin leaving mainland Europe to focus on the UK and North America

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Shared micromomobility operator Spin has announced that it is abandoning its operations in mainland Europe (Germany, Portugal and Spain), leaving the first two immediately and Spain next month.

The slimming down is aimed at refocusing its efforts on “limited vendor markets” which the Ford-owned firm is finding more profitable.

Spin is finding that unregulated markets, where operators typically try to outcompete each other by flooding the market, and “open permit” cities that do not impose a cap on the number of operators, result in a lower revenue rate per e-scooter.

The operator will remain in the UK, where it runs around 1,000 e-scooters in three Essex towns (Colchester, Chelmsford and Basildon) as sole provider, as well as being one of the three companies operating in Milton Keynes, with 400 e-scooters available there – in total it recorded nearly a million journeys in the UK in 2021. It will also retain a presence in its home, the United States, and in Canada.

While it mainly operates e-scooters, it does have some e-bikes available for rental in the US, and in fact, the company did start life as a shared dockless bicycle provider. The US also has its largest fleets with 1500 in Washington DC and 1000 in San Francisco.

Towards the end of last year, the company was operating around 3,500 e-scooters in mainland Europe. Cities in Europe losing their Spin service include Adlershof, Bruhl, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Neuss and Wesseling in Germany, and Matosinhos in Portugal, where it operated more than 100 e-scooters in each, as well as a number of smaller fleets in other German towns and cities.

Its largest European operations, in Madrid and Tarragona, Spain, had over 500 e-scooters. Live data suggests that Spin has already withdrawn from most of its mainland European operations, with none left in Spain and just a few in Portugal and Germany.

Despite reaffirming its support for the UK trials in an announcement on its corporate blog, it is worth noting that it also left Clacton in October 2021, after eight months of operation, under a mutual agreement with the local council there.

Journey numbers in Clacton, at around 40,000 in total, were markedly lower than in its other Essex sharing fleets which have seen well over 100,000 journeys each. As well as its sharing operations, it offers long term rental, called Spin+, in two further Essex towns – Brentwood and Braintree, where residents can hire the devices on a monthly or longer basis.

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