- Austin is the latest city to welcome GM's Maven Gig, a car-sharing service for freelance ride-share and on-demand delivery drivers, raising the total number of cities with the service to nine.
- Austin is now home to the first fully-electric Maven Gig fleet, consisting of 20 Chevrolet Bolts.
- The vehicles can be rented for a flat weekly fee that includes insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance and unlimited miles. Charging will be free for a limited time.
In a press release, GM said Austin is a good fit for the all-electric Maven Gig service due to the city's high concentration of college students and a passion for tech start-ups. That tech passion is becoming more well-known as a growing number of start-ups choose Austin as a home base. Some in the various tech fields are trying to position the city as a blockchain and cryptocurrency leader.
Austin is home to the annual innovation-forward SXSW festival and conference — beginning later this week — which this year will host its inaugural Cities Summit. Maven Gig's launch in Austin is well-timed to potentially be a showcase service for attendees, especially considering how much of SXSW focuses on professions that have a strong presence in the gig economy. The GM press release said Maven Gig makes it "easier for Austinites who want to get the most out of their side hustle."
The all-electric aspect further positions Maven Gig as a forward-thinking service. The company will provide free charging for a limited time in partnership with Austin Energy's Plug-In EVerywhere network of more than 600 electric vehicle chargers throughout the city, including a fast charger and the Electric Drive solar kiosk that was installed about a year ago.
Electric Drive is a mobility hub that provides charging for electric cars, bikes, scooters and cell phones, plus the site has bike racks as well as seating and tables made out of reclaimed wood. “The city of Austin launched Electric Drive one year ago as an example of a sustainable mobility hub in the heart of downtown,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. “We now have the launch of Maven’s first all-electric fleet in our community as a result."