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Maven Gig, GM’s car-sharing service for Uber and Lyft drivers, comes to Austin

BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member

https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/2/17069424/maven-gig-gm-car-sharing-uber-lyft-drivers-austin

General Motors is bringing its car-sharing service Maven to the city of Austin, but just for freelance drivers for rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, and on-demand delivery apps like Postmates, GrubHub, and InstaCart.

Someone who’s interested in driving for any of these on-demand services, but doesn’t own a vehicle, can rent an electric Chevy Bolt through Maven Gig starting at $229-a-week. The weekly price includes insurance, maintenance, and electric vehicle charging. There is no membership fee.

Maven first launched its gig worker product in 2016 in San Diego and San Francisco. Since then, it has been introduced in Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Detroit. Maven says its customers have logged 170 million miles driving for various on-demand apps.

What’s different here is how closely Maven says it will be working with the city of Austin to ensure there’s an adequate electric car-charging infrastructure in place for drivers to use this service.

Uber and Lyft only resumed operations in Austin in May 2017 after the state of Texas preempted the city’s rules cracking down on ride-hail companies.

Presently, there are a handful of options available to someone who wants to make money as a freelance 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 19 cities. (Last year, Uber decided to scrap its auto leasing businessafter higher-than-projected losses.) All offer discounted prices to freelance drivers.
 

UberBeamer

Well-Known Member
My initial reaction was that’s about $916 a month, so you’d really have to be hustling big time to make it worth it. Then again, my vehicle overhead isn’t a whole lot less when I take into account loan payment, rideshare insurance, gas, depreciation and maintenance. Still, it seems like most people would make out a lot better just purchasing or leasing a reasonably priced vehicle unless their credit was just completely shot. That it’s electric and you’d save on gas may be an upside, but I can also see that as a downside if you have to recharge often and couldn’t take longer trips for fear of being stranded. Hmm. Interesting times we live in.
 
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BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
My initial reaction was that’s about $916 a month, so you’d really have to be hustling big time to make it worth it. Then again, my vehicle overhead isn’t a whole lot less when I take into account loan payment, rideshare insurance, gas, depreciation and maintenance. Still, it seems like most people would make out a lot better just purchasing or leasing a reasonably priced vehicle unless their credit was just completely shot. That it’s electric and you’d save on gas may be an upside, but I can also see that as a downside if you have to recharge often and couldn’t take longer trips for fear of being stranded. Hmm. Interesting times we live in.
You'd have to be active. It's not for the 10 hours a week people which is 80% of drivers.
 

UberBeamer

Well-Known Member
You'd have to be active. It's not for the 10 hours a week people which is 80% of drivers.
What would be even cooler would be if you could do it on a more ala carte basis. Maybe by the day. That way you wouldn’t have to incur any overhead if you weren’t going to drive. It’ll be interesting to see if it works out for folks. It’s definitely not in the cards for me.
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
My initial reaction was that’s about $916 a month, so you’d really have to be hustling big time to make it worth it. Then again, my vehicle overhead isn’t a whole lot less when I take into account loan payment, rideshare insurance, gas, depreciation and maintenance. Still, it seems like most people would make out a lot better just purchasing or leasing a reasonably priced vehicle unless their credit was just completely shot. That it’s electric and you’d save on gas may be an upside, but I can also see that as a downside if you have to recharge often and couldn’t take longer trips for fear of being stranded. Hmm. Interesting times we live in.
Ziggy basically said a retired police car is about the only way you can make money with X lol My car is old and paid off so it makes sense, I wouldn’t do this gig in a nice car unless it is for lux/select only...just not worth it. I do wish I could of bought a minivan instead of an Altima, the good news is you can buy a old minivan and do x and not care about what happens to it. Just kick it around and let out frustration after you park it lol
 

Recoup

Well-Known Member
An analysis from an electric car driver:

At those rates, you could only make money if you drive full-time. And a full-time driver has TOTALLY different charging requirements than a part-timer like myself. Even with the advertised 238-mile range (real range is probably 85%-90% of advertised), you'd be charging 8-10 hours a day at a Level 2 charger. The economics of part-time rideshare with an electric car are all kinds of good. Full-time? Eh, not so much.

I'm happy to see increased adoption of electric cars, but this is a silly idea.
 

BostonTaxiDriver

Well-Known Member
I've had the Chevy Volt 2017 EV for a few weeks in Boston. Only had six hundred miles upon pickup.

I spend all day driving out of my way for a "quick" charge, then wait two hours or more to get 170-180 miles on the charge, then waste 12 miles of that to drive to my starting area. If someone is already blocking me, I have to wait them out. Usually I do get a spot asap at one of three locations offering quick charge in the region. It takes almost an hour to get 70-90 miles of charge.

But I do have to turn down the rare 45-60+ ping at the airport if I only have 100 or so miles left. Ridiculous.

Awful way to exist.

It's hard to get a regular gas car at Maven in Boston, and they're older with higher miles, I'm told
 

Ziggy

Well-Known Member
I've had the Chevy Volt 2017 EV for a few weeks in Boston. Only had six hundred miles upon pickup.

I spend all day driving out of my way for a "quick" charge, then wait two hours or more to get 170-180 miles on the charge, then waste 12 miles of that to drive to my starting area. If someone is already blocking me, I have to wait them out. Usually I do get a spot asap at one of three locations offering quick charge in the region. It takes almost an hour to get 70-90 miles of charge.

But I do have to turn down the rare 45-60+ ping at the airport if I only have 100 or so miles left. Ridiculous.

Awful way to exist.

It's hard to get a regular gas car at Maven in Boston, and they're older with higher miles, I'm told
EV cars on Uber would only work here if you drove part time (which would be impossible to make the payment) or if you had more than 1 car fully charged and ready to exchange (kind of like Pony Express). EV probably is fine in a city like San Francisco since they have EV chargers nearly every block, but in some parts of Austin finding a charger when you’re low is like finding a pax that tips for a 2-block ride (rare, but not impossible).

For me, the only practical EV would be Tesla X because I’d get all range and I could do Lux and my 6’4” frame could sit comfortably enough to drive for hours. But there aren’t enough trips to make it profitable with the current Lux rates.
 
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wilsonz83

Well-Known Member
EV cars on Uber would only work here if you drove part time (which would be impossible to make the payment) or if you had more than 1 car fully charged and ready to exchange (kind of like Pony Express). EV probably is fine in a city like San Francisco since they have EV chargers nearly every block, but in some parts of Austin finding a charger when you’re low is like finding a pax that tips for a 2-block ride (rare, but not impossible).

For me, the only practical EV would be Tesla X because I’d get all range and I could do Lux and my 6’4” frame could sit comfortably enough to drive for hours. But there aren’t enough trips to make it profitable with the current Lux rates.
Damn that’s a 100k car. You need to lux like hell to make the payment.
 

BostonTaxiDriver

Well-Known Member
I've had the Chevy Volt 2017 EV for a few weeks in Boston. Only had six hundred miles upon pickup.

I spend all day driving out of my way for a "quick" charge, then wait two hours or more to get 170-180 miles on the charge, then waste 12 miles of that to drive to my starting area. If someone is already blocking me, I have to wait them out. Usually I do get a spot asap at one of three locations offering quick charge in the region. It takes almost an hour to get 70-90 miles of charge.

But I do have to turn down the rare 45-60+ ping at the airport if I only have 100 or so miles left. Ridiculous.

Awful way to exist.

It's hard to get a regular gas car at Maven in Boston, and they're older with higher miles, I'm told
Damn. Drove 20 minutes to the mall to one of only 3 charging stations in the immediate Boston area where Maven has a free charging agreement.

Only two chargers here and in most places, but one spot was empty but the machine displayed not enough power and I'd need to wait for the other car to finish. Not sure how that works, as other times two cars can usually charge at once.

I'm single and have no commitments so I just read and rest or walk the mall while charging, but this arrangement stinks if you have a family or other responsibilities.
 

Recoup

Well-Known Member
Damn. Drove 20 minutes to the mall to one of only 3 charging stations in the immediate Boston area where Maven has a free charging agreement...
So you lost out on an hour or more of rides so you could get a free charge? I think I might have just paid for a charge and worked the hour instead. (Of course, I live in a city where you can get free access to 280+ chargers for $50/year... so I very seldom have to make that kind of calculation.)

But I gotta say, kudos to you for getting out and walking while you charge. This is how you combat "taxi-driver gut."
 
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