Ford of Germany has partnered with private railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) to provide bike sharing in the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf.
3,200 FordPass-branded bikes will join the fleet already accessible via DB’s app Call a Bike. Users will then be able to use the service via both Call a Bike and Ford’s own FordPass app.
Operations and customer services will be handled by Deutsche Bahn Connect, DB’s subsidiary for shared mobility.
“The use of bikes for getting around in our cities and the trend towards sharing will gain increasingly in importance in the years to come. With the new service to be offered in Düsseldorf and Cologne, we are extending [our offer] with an extremely environmentally friendly mode of transport,” said Sylvia Lier, chair of Deutsche Bahn Connect’s board of management.
Ford of Germany and DB have been collaborating on car sharing since 2013. Additionally, in August this year Ford offered 100,000 free one-year Call a bike memberships as a marketing initiative for its car customers.
The move to back clean mobility can be seen as an eco-friendly rebranding of Ford after its and other manufacturers’ image was badly tarnished by Dieselgate.
Although Ford stated to be first carmaker in Europe to enter the bike sharing business, this kind of partnership is not new on the global scene. In China, ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and tech giant Tencent have joined forces with bike-share providers Ofo and Mobike respectively.