General Motors announced that it will be allowing vehicles from other manufacturers on its peer-to-peer car sharing platform, Maven. Currently, only GM vehicles, manufactured after 2015 can be rented on the platform, with 60–40 revenue split between the owner of the car and GM.
BMW-Daimler mobility service merger approved
The European Commission has approved the merger of BMW’s DriveNow and Daimler’s car2go services. Offers of 5 mobility services — on-demand mobility, car sharing, ride-hailing, parking, and charging — from two companies will be brought together. However, the merging process might still wait for approval of the anti-trust authorities in the US and Canada.
Both companies will continue to compete in their core business areas.
Ford buys e-scooter company Spin
Ford has agreed to acquire electric scooter company Spin for $200 million. The company was founded in San Francisco 2 years ago. The deal seems quite modest compared to other micro mobility transactions — Lime, founded in 2017 has received $450 million in funding and is valued at $4 billion (Lime also announced this week that it will be launching a carsharing service in Seattle, US, starting with 50 cars); Bird, also launched in 2017, has drawn $400 million in investment and is valued at $2 billion.
The all-too-familiar business model of acquiring electric scooters manufactured in China by companies like Ninebot and then renting them out for short distances (usually for 1$ + $0.15 a minute) seems to be booming in the US and in Western Europe. GM also recently announced that it will introduce electric bikes in 2019.
Uber and Lyft offer rewards programs
Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are launching loyalty programs, similar to airline company programs. Within Uber Rewards riders get points for every dollar spend on rides and food delivery and for every 500 points, they get $5. Lyft’s program is assumed to be similar but the details are yet unknown.