Chevrolet Bolt Set To Become Crown Vic Of Ride Hailing?
Now that General Motors’ mobility company, Maven, has added Chevrolet Bolts to its lineup, it may become increasingly clear that EVs will be to ride-hailing services, what cars like the Crown Victoria were to yesterday’s taxi fleets.
Maven is offering weekly rentals to drivers for ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber, and adding the Chevrolet Bolt is a big step for many reasons. General Motors gets an additional opportunity to showcase the vehicles, and also collects data pertaining to driving distance and charging habits.
The company can learn a great deal from the cars being used for the service, increase the potential for fleets to begin purchasing the vehicles, and prove to the public that EVs – with their city-friendly low-speed torque, cheap running costs, and little to no maintenance – are absolutely ideal for city driving. Not to mention that the Bolt is uniquely ideal because of its small footprint and versatile design.
Only 55 Bolts are on the streets as part of Maven’s fleet in San Francisco and San Diego.
However, data from the first few months shows that they have already collectively traveled 200,000 miles and transported 20,000 passengers. As part of the program, Maven provides insurance, free maintenance, and access to the EVgo charging network, in exchange for driver data collection.
The most interesting piece of information that General Motors/Maven has learned is that the Chevrolet Bolt drivers prefer Level 3 DC fast charging. For this to be an option for Maven Bolt drivers, the vehicles must include the $750 DC fast charging option. Of all recorded charging events, 2500 have been DC fast, compared to 200 Level 2 charges. This makes sense because without it, all-day drivers would be out of luck. Some drivers have achieved 300-400 miles a day, which is the same distance covered by Maven drivers using ICE cars.
Public charging stations, and moreover, those with available fast chargers, are integral to the adoption of EVs. Tesla has been paramount in building and expanding its Supercharger network. A few other automakers – Nissan and BMW specifically – are now seeing the light and moving forward.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with General Motors. But, this Maven data related to the Chevrolet Bolt may change that. EVs, and especially the Bolt, could prove to be pivotal to the ride-hailing/future taxi market. Car and Driver wonders if the Bolt will become perhaps the Ford Crown Victoria of the new generation.
If GM can build a public charging network knowing that it has a viable and predetermined use, aside from solely public charging, it makes a whole lot more sense. Maven says that with just a couple dozen Bolts in daily use, EVgo stations in the area are experiencing double to nearly triple gains in use volume. Manager and senior project engineer at Maven, Alex Keros, shared (via Car and Driver):
“There are a lot of kilowatt-hours being spent here, and it’s helping to drive the business case associated with infrastructure. For the first time we’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel . . . to build a business case, so that we’re not totally subsidizing public charging.”
Source: Car and Driver