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Autos

GM introduces ‘Maven Gig’ rental program for app-based freelance drivers

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In this Maven Gig publicity shot, a man holds the driver-side back door of a Bolt EV.
(Jessica Lynn Walker / Maven)

Maven is moving deeper into the gig economy.

The app-based General Motors unit rents out cars by the week or by the hour. Now with Maven Gig, it’s packaging up deals for drivers who work for app-based service such as GrubHub, Instacart, Lyft and Uber.

For about $230 a week, drivers get use of an electric Chevy Bolt EV, insurance and pre-paid charging at EVgo charging stations.

The deal is similar to Maven rental plans available to the general public, but accommodates the insurance needs of gig freelancers.

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Maven Gig is already running in San Diego and will expand to other markets later in the year, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Insurance is the “pain point” for freelancers who want to drive for several on-demand services, said Rachel Bhattacharya, director of commercial mobility for Maven. Personal insurance and commercial insurance are usually separate. Maven Gig combines them.

Rental programs for gig drivers already exist, but most are tied to a single service. “This opens it up so renters can drive whenever they want for whomever they want,” Bhattacharya said.

How the economics work depends on an individual driver’s circumstances. Bhattacharya said a typical Maven Gig customer might be someone who freelances a few months between full time jobs.

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Like other traditional automakers, General Motors is attempting to find its way in a new transportation economy. It’s invested in Lyft and driverless car startups, and “getting in front of social trends we already know are coming,” Bhattacharya said. “You can sit and wait and see what happens to you, or you can monetize it.”

russ.mitchell@latimes.com

Twitter: @russ1mitchell


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