General Motors’ Maven Gig Expands To Six More Cities

“The freelance economy is growing, and Maven Gig is growing along with it to provide transportation solutions for freelance drivers," says Maven's Rachel Bhattacharya.

Maven Gig, the courier-focused offshoot brand of General Motors’ multi-city, shared-mobility, subscription-based project Maven, is adding six more cities to its roster as on-demand delivery services spread to more places.

Weekly Maven Gig rentals are now available through the Maven app in Los Angeles (as of Aug. 10), San Diego and San Francisco. Boston, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., will be available this fall, and Baltimore and Detroit will follow.

Separately, HopSkipDrive, which is billed as “Uber for shuttling kids,” has been added as a Maven partner and joins existing partners Grubhub, Instacart, Roadie, and ride-sharing services.

HopSkipDrive has thousands of drivers across LA, Orange County, and the Bay Area.

“HopSkipDrive is excited to partner with Maven Gig,” says HopSkipDrive Co-Founder & CEO Joanna McFarland. “Our mission is to make families lives easier, and this includes CareDrivers. We are always looking at ways to help CareDrivers, and potential CareDrivers, take advantage of the safe, flexible income opportunity HopSkipDrive provides. Maven Gig enables this by offering affordable leases with unlimited mileage and insurance.”

The GM company’s moves are intended to showcase the rapid growth of the Maven Gig service since it was launched in May in San Diego. The primary Maven car rental service has been operating on-demand ride-sharing rentals in San Francisco since August 2016.

Maven Gig drivers have logged more than 170 million miles since vehicle rentals became available for ride-share services in 2016. Like Maven in general, ride-sharers can download and app in Apple’s and Google’s respective app stores, pay one-time $20 fee, and hit the road.

In February, Atlanta became the 17th city to host GM’s experiment in car-sharing conjunction with Lyft Express Drive, the ride-hailing platform’s rental car business. Since then, Maven has expanded its presence in New York City and Baltimore.

Maven is GM’s app-based, shared mobility venture.

Capitalizing On And Advancing The Gig Economy

As concepts from self-driving cars to connected cars, along with the expansion of ride-hailing programs from Uber and Lyft, become more mainstream, automakers like GM have been racing to explore new business models.

Separately, as on-demand grocery and takeout has expanded under brands like Grubhub, which just acquired Yelp’s Eat24 unit for for $287.5 million, the need to make driving accessible for people in the “gig economy” has become more crucial.

In an example offered by Maven Gig about how it can address the issues of people who need cars for short-term work, the company presents the story of Jamie, “who earns a couple hundred dollars as a freelancer picking up and dropping off passengers as a licensed driver for a ride-sharing company on an average Friday night.”

“With Maven Gig, Jamie can now increase earning power by adding other gigs,” a Maven rep says. “For instance, spending two hours during the lunch rush delivering food adds another $30-$50. Delivering packages and groceries during the day adds even more.”

The Confluence Of Electric Cars, On-Demand, & Shared Mobility

In addition to zeroing in on the rise of both shared mobility and on-demand delivery, Maven also represents GM’s move into electric cars.

In terms of the impact of shared mobility on automakers, Audi, for example, expanded its shared mobility ambitions with the acquisition of Silvercar, an airport-focused rental car company, earlier this year. For Audi, GM, and their rivals, these new app-based auto ventures are looking at more than just a vehicle rental services; it’s all about shaping the role of cars in the future.

On the electric car front, Maven offers the Chevrolet Bolt EV with an EPA-estimated range of 238 all-electric miles.

Maven Gig vehicles are available for flat weekly rates that include the car, unlimited miles, insurance (minus deductibles) and maintenance. Having unlimited mileage and insurance to cover personal and commercial use are extremely important for drivers in the gig economy. Pricing starts at $189 plus taxes for a Chevrolet Cruze. Additional vehicles include the Chevrolet Malibu ($209 per week plus taxes), Trax ($219 per week plus taxes), Impala ($225 per week plus taxes) and Bolt EV ($229 per week plus taxes).

“We are committed to bringing Bolt EVs to all Maven Gig markets,” said Rachel Bhattacharya, Chief Growth Officer for Maven. Drivers want the Bolt EV because of cost savings as well as helping with energy and environmental goals. The freelance economy is growing and Maven Gig is growing along with it to provide transportation solutions for freelance drivers.”

As for HopSkipDrive and other alliances as well as following Maven Gig to other cities, the ride-hailing platforms says it is “always open to and exploring partnerships that offer opportunities for CareDrivers to make their lives easier.”

“We are excited to see Maven Gig’s expansion and know that they are available in multiple markets which will help us offer opportunities to CareDrivers as we continue to grow,” McFarland says.

As for what’s next, now that Maven has planted its flag in over two dozen major cities, it will likely concentrate on building up its brand in those respective places before looking to further expansion in 2018.