Holden Trials Maven Car-share Service In Melbourne
Holden Trials Maven Car-share Service In Melbourne

Holden Trials Maven Car-share Service In Melbourne


Holden is believed to be testing a car-share service in Melbourne to rival GoGet and GreenShareCar as part of parent General Motors' global expansion into new mobility solutions.

Called Maven, the car-share service was started by GM in the US only 14 months ago yet it has already been registered in Australia and the trademark extends to the Maven app for smartphone access.

 

Holden's head office in Melbourne now has car bays at the front of the building marked with the Maven logo for an in-house staff car-sharing scheme.

A spokesman from the local arm said the bays are for company cars that can be shared by employees needing a vehicle for a short period or wanting to test different models from the Red Lion's line-up.

Furthermore, the spokesman added Holden has no immediate plans to open Maven operations publicly in Australia.

It has been designed not only for cars but to encompass bicycles, electric bikes and park-ride solutions.

Maven works in a similar way to GoGet by allowing members access to cars parked at various locations around a city. The service, which is aimed at people who may live inner city and do not own a car, books and allows members access to the cars via smartphone app.

The difference is that Maven uses only GM products, which are currently limited to Holden in Australia.

Maven is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM and is the company's personal mobility brand. It has been designed not only for cars but to encompass bicycles, electric bikes and park-ride solutions including linking personal transport with public transport systems.

Access starts with customers paying for a membership and then accessing the service via a phone app downloaded from Apple's AppStore or Google Play. A car can then be reserved by the hour or day with rates starting at $US8 ($A10.40) an hour.

Insurance and a full tank of fuel are included in the price and there is a set distance of free travel before the customer has to pay extra.

Details of the pick-up point of the car are then sent to the customer. The car has to be returned to the same point.

GM has integrated a 4G service that accesses its OnStar connectivity system – which includes a 24/7 emergency service – into all cars along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Maven is in use in seven US cities but GM has said an expansion plan is underway to increase that to 10.

GM has recently said it would offer an extension – called Maven Reserve – for customers who want a longer rental term of up to 28 days. This will first be available in Los Angeles and San Francisco and then extended to other cities later.

Maven is in use in seven US cities but GM has said an expansion plan is underway to increase that to 10 and include one in Canada.

Since starting in Michigan in January last year, Maven has expanded to Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Its latest press release out of the US adds to the list cities including Jersey City, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego and Waterloo, near Toronto, Canada.

Maven showcases GM's latest products in the US, including the all-electric Bolt hatchback. It also allows members access to larger vehicles including the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.

Maven was formed from a ride-sharing company called Sidecar that GM bought in early 2016. At the same time, GM also invested $US500 million ($A661m) in a similar business called Lyft, that is based in San Francisco but has presence in 300 US areas.

Lyft is similar to Uber, with drivers in their private cars delivering passengers or light goods such as food. It also uses a membership system and mobile phone apps to access the service.

Would you use Maven given its link to GM or is it just another car-share service? Tell us what you think in the comments below.


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