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GM's Lyft-Partnered Maven Car-Sharing Service Expands

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author photo by Michelle Krebs May 2016

General Motors' Maven car-sharing business is expanding to Chicago and Washington, D.C., while adding more vehicles and users in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Meanwhile, Boston is set to launch Maven this summer.

What It's All About

GM Maven, described by the automaker as its personal mobility brand, launched in January through an alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, in which GM bought a 9 percent stake for $500 million. Maven is the umbrella under which the automaker will experiment with and innovate new ways of providing transportation to consumers beyond traditional buying and selling, especially in congested urban areas.

Maven customers download an app and apply for an account by providing a driver's license number and credit card. Maven replies within 2 days. Approved users can then search for and reserve a vehicle by location or car type. They unlock the vehicle with their smartphone. Prices, which vary by city, include insurance and fuel. All Maven cars come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as GM's OnStar system.

Growth and Expansion

GM started car sharing last year in New York City, offering it to residents of luxury housing units run by real estate company Stonehenge NYC. The program has since been expanded to other New York City residential facilities.

Maven then added Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the University of Michigan. Maven cars are available in designated parking spots across the city with a fee that starts at $6 an hour, depending on the vehicle. The Ann Arbor program started with 13 vehicles and has now expanded to 30. That's still only half the number of Zipcar, which has been in the city for a decade. The Chevrolet Volt has become the most requested Maven vehicle by customers.

In Chicago, home to Avis-owned Zipcar, charges for the Chicago Maven City car-sharing program start at $8 per hour for one of the 30 Chevrolet, Cadillac or Buick vehicles at more than 15 sites. There's also a program called Maven+, which provides residential on-demand car sharing exclusively to residents of Aqua Apartments, a community of luxury high-rise apartments located in the city's Lakeshore East neighborhood. Additionally, Chicago's Express Drive program provides $99-per-week short-term rentals of Chevrolet Equinox crossovers to drivers working for the ride-share service Lyft.

In Washington, D.C., Maven+ car sharing is offered to residents of The Hepburn, a new luxury apartment community. By the end of June, Maven will open to all qualifying D.C. residents.

In Europe, the automaker offers peer-to-peer car sharing through the CarUnity marketplace in Germany. Nearly 10,000 users are signed up in Frankfurt and Berlin. The automaker is running various programs at its facilities in the U.S., Germany and China to test future Maven offerings.

Information is available at Maven.com.

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GM's Lyft-Partnered Maven Car-Sharing Service Expands - Autotrader