With Chevy Bolt EV production now occurring at a large scale, GM has seemingly begun allocating more and more of the production to end points other than retail customers. Case in point: there was a recent announcement revealing that the Los Angeles branch of GM carsharing service Maven will be getting “more than 100” Chevy Bolt EVs.
This shows that GM is at least somewhat serious about using the Bolt for non-retail purposes, and highlighting the car as one of the brand’s best.
Given that the company seems to be aiming to use the Bolt, or a successor, as the base of its planned self-driving vehicle taxi services — and is going to be testing Chevy Bolts on a mass scale within the near future — this shouldn’t be too surprising.
“Maven’s seamless car-sharing application complements Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s vision to leverage multi-modal transportation solutions to advance mobility and encourage more electric vehicles in the market,” a press release from Maven noted.
“The collaboration is expected to increase opportunities in Los Angeles neighborhoods, from reducing mobility barriers to exposing all communities to transportation electrification.
“Maven City car sharing in Los Angeles has seen an average of 56 percent member growth month-over-month since launching in October 2016, and Maven will leverage this existing platform as well as in-city infrastructure, fleet management capabilities and operational insights to help advance the City of Los Angeles’ Sustainable City pLAn. Maven members will play an integral role in informing the co-creation process and will provide valuable insights for future infrastructure and transportation developments. …
“Maven is the only program to offer the Bolt EV for both car-sharing and ridesharing applications providing immediate solutions for real-world mobility issues. The Bolt EV is uniquely suited for vehicle sharing. The compact hatchback seats five with room for cargo storage, and the flat floor facilitates easy entry and egress. The smooth, quiet electric propulsion is ideal for dense urban areas.”
Maven’s use of the Bolt won’t be limited to Los Angeles — it’s also planning to use it in San Diego and San Francisco before long.
Interestingly, Maven’s release mentioned that the Bolt is also being used by Lyft — which we’ve already written about a few times. Maven doesn’t make the connection explicit, but GM is also a major investor in Lyft.
The reason for these investments (into Maven and Lyft) are of course that there are big changes coming to the auto industry over the coming decades and GM doesn’t want to get left in the dust (and lose substantial market share in the process). The same goes for the switch to EVs. On that topic:
“To support the introduction of the Bolt EV to the Maven platform, the team is working with infrastructure providers on building a more effective, robust EV charging network. Drivers using the Bolt EVs, for example, will have access to free charging for a limited time via the entire EVgo Freedom Station network throughout California. Maven is also working with each of California’s investor-owned utilities, as well as Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, on infrastructure projects that can help encourage the use of EVs in the sharing economy.
“Maven plans to collaborate with additional metropolitan cities to advance the development of future applications, including a fully electric autonomous network of vehicles tied to mass transportation stations.”
So, to sum up the practical implications of this news: those in Los Angeles who want to test drive a Chevy Bolt EV over an extended period of time will soon be able to do so through the Maven carsharing service.
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