Maven, General Motors’ car-sharing spinoff, is launching a new product aimed at drivers in the gig economy. For $229 a week, someone who’s interested in driving for Uber, Lyft, Instacart, GrubHub, or a handful of other on-demand services, but doesn’t own a vehicle, can rent a Chevy Bolt through a new service called Maven Gig.
The weekly price includes insurance, maintenance, and electric vehicle charging. Maven is officially partnering with Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, Instacart, and Roadie, but expects that list to grow over time. The program is live in San Diego and will launch in San Francisco and Los Angeles later this year.
This product is aimed at someone driving for these services as a full-time job, rather than someone casually driving in his or her spare time. According to the website “I Drive With Uber,” someone driving for Uber for 30 hours a week can earn on average between $19 and $23 an hour, after Uber takes its 25 percent commission. That means someone earning on the higher end of the scale would take home $461 a week, after paying the $229 fee to Maven. That translates into a yearly salary of $22,128. That’s higher than the minimum wage, but not by much.
Just last November, Maven announced that it was partnering with Uber in San Francisco on a 90-day pilot program. Drivers could take out GM vehicles for $179 a week plus additional taxes and fees to earn money on the ride-sharing platform. The deal raised more than a few eyebrows at the time considering GM was a major investor in Uber’s main rival, Lyft.
Presently, there are a handful of options available to someone who wants to make money as a gig economy driver but doesn’t own a vehicle. Uber has a partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Denver, while Lyft, GM, and Hertz have a rental service called “Express Drive” available in a half-dozen cities. All offer discounted prices to freelance drivers.
When it launched in January 2016, GM said that Maven would be its new “personal mobility brand,” reflecting a trend in the auto industry of spinning off new, millennial-friendly businesses as a hedge against perceived declines in personal car ownership. Since then, Maven has grown to 17 cities in the US and Canada, boasting 35,000 members who have made more than 45,000 reservations. Maven says that users in 11 of those cities have reported using the car-sharing service to make money driving for companies like Uber and Lyft.