In order to tap into the rapidly growing 'gig' or freelance economy, the General Motors Co. (GM) is expanding Maven – its car sharing program.

Called Maven Gig, the new program offers drivers the option of renting a car on demand for performing independent "gigs" such as package delivery, grocery or food delivery, or driving for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft.

"Maven Gig is tailored to drivers looking for flexible, affordable vehicle access to maximize earning potential," the firm said in a statement. "By 2020, an estimated 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of workers who freelance. The nature of employment is changing, and Maven Gig is a nimble platform to grow and adapt with the shift." 

Gig drivers will have the opportunity to maximize their income by switching between several brands, services and gigs. For instance, a Maven Gig driver could make the most during morning peak hours by offering pickup and drop service for passengers for a ridesharing company. Once past the morning rush hours, they can switch to offer food delivery service during lunch hours, and then provide doorstep delivery for groceries in the afternoon, and so on. (See also, GM Launches Netflix-Like Car Subscription Service)

Maven Gig has partnered with online food order and delivery company GrubHub Inc. (GRUB), online grocer Instacart, and app-based delivery service Roadie that works like a carpooling service for packages.

Maven was launched in January 2016 and currently provides vehicles for ridesharing in 11 markets in the United States. As a part of the initiative to get more drivers on the Maven Gig platform, GM plans to offer around 100 vehicles in the fleet of Maven Gig, which is currently operational in the city of San Diego. The company hopes to start the scheme with Chevrolet Bolt electric cars in San Diego, and expects to launch the initiative in San Francisco and Los Angeles later this year.

The scheme will be useful to freelancers who may not be able to afford a car on their own. A freelancer will be able to hire a Chevrolet Bolt EV for the gig jobs for a weekly rent of around $229, which includes insurance, unlimited miles, free charging of the electric cars at designated EVgo stations, and costs towards regular maintenance.

“If you decide you want to participate in the gig economy and earn for a while, you can take this car for as little as a week, as long as a month-plus, and earn with it, and also obviously use it for personal use, though you’re committing to a slightly longer contract. If after a few weeks of that, you earned enough for whatever you were trying to do, you can drop back down to the City program and just use the car when you need it,” said Rachel Bhattacharya, Maven’s Director of Commercial Mobility Strategy, in an interview with technology portal TechCrunch.

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