The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to embracing EVs and now its teaming up with GM's car-sharing service to make those vehicles more readily available. Maven announced today that it's partnering with cities to expand sustainable driving options and the initiative is kicking off in LA. Once the project fully up to speed, over 100 Chevy Bolt EVs will be available in the city. Of course, more EVs require more charging stations. Maven is working with other companies to expand the available options.
General Motors' Maven ride-sharing service has partnered with the city of Los Angeles to enable Angelenos and tourists to borrow Bolt EV electric cars to get around town. The partnership, announced Thursday morning at a Union Station ceremony, will put 100 of GM's Bolt EV all-electric sedans into service in the area. The cars will be available for hire by individuals, and also by Lyft drivers, as part of an ongoing agreement between GM and the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company. The Maven partnership will give visitors, tourists and residents of the city an opportunity to visit downtown without their cars, and experience electric vehicles if they find they need one. "We want to get people out of their cars, by doing things like riding the Expo line to downtown, and using bike share," said Matt Petersen, the city's chief sustainability officer.
Maven Gig, the GM-based weekly car rental service, has come to Los Angeles. Starting Thursday, ride-hailing drivers for services such as Uber and Lyft and delivery drivers for companies such as GrubHub and Roadie will have access to flat-rate weekly deals on GM cars. The deals, designed in part to put more electric cars on area roads, include a vehicle, unlimited mileage, insurance and free maintenance. The drivers must pay for fuel and, in case of accidents, insurance deductibles. If they want to rent a Bolt EV, Maven Gig will also pay for the electricity to make it run.
GM is expanding the presence of its Zipcar-style service Maven in Australia. The company has begun testing Maven Gig in Sydney through a pilot program with Uber a few months after it started trialing the main Maven service in Melbourne. Unlike the primary service itself that offers the general public vehicles for rent, Maven Gig was designed to rent out GM cars to people doing freelance gigs, such as driving for ride-hailing companies and package, food or grocery delivery. For now, the automaker is focusing on entering leasing agreements with those who'd like to make money on the side driving for Uber. Before the pilot started, Maven Gig was only available in San Diego, though it's slated to be launched in San Francisco and Los Angeles in late 2017.
Earlier this year, GM unveiled a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, expanding its Maven platform to allow GM owners and qualified lessees to rent out their own vehicles. At the time, the company said the service was in beta in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan, but GM has now announced that it's bringing the peer-to-peer car-sharing service to 10 US cities in the coming months. By the end of the year, the service will be fully launched in Ann Arbor, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Jersey City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC. GM launched Maven in 2016, a Zipcar-like service that let users grab short-term rental vehicles from designated pick-up spots. It later expanded the service, allowing drivers to rent cars for longer periods of time, and introduced Maven Gig, which let users rent a vehicle for jobs like delivering food or driving for Lyft or Uber.