The last time we checked in on General Motors’ Maven car-sharing service, the company had pulled it out of eight major U.S. cities and reports had emerged that the business was burning up cash at an alarming rate. GM isn’t alone, either, with industry experts seeing such app-based mobility services as being difficult to start up and hard to make money on—at least at this early stage in the game, that is.
However, that hasn’t stopped Roger Penske from starting up his own car-sharing service. Penske has partnered with Ridecell Inc., the self-described leading platform provider for shared mobility operators, to launch Penske Dash in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The new car-sharing service will offer users the opportunity to rent a Volkwagen Jetta SE by the minute, hour or day through a mobile app, with rates ranging from 45 cents per minute to $85 for a full day. A one-hour rental will cost users $15. Users may not exceed 200 miles in the car per rental—making it focused toward short distances and short-term rentals.
“Penske Dash furthers our commitment to embrace new technologies while addressing the mobility needs for our consumers,” Roger Penske said in a prepared statement.
Similar to Maven, Penske Dash cars must be left in parking spaces pre-identified by Penske. In Arlington, the service is limited to street parking, while in Washington, these spots will be located in garages and lots throughout the city.
GM Maven is far from the only ride-sharing service to have been scaled back or axed completely in recent times. BMW’s ReachNow service was cancelled completely back in July and Daimler’s Car2Go service also pulled out of five major North American cities earlier this year. Penske Dash will actually be led by former Car2Go North America CEO Paul Delong.
Automakers were initially eager to get in on the ground floor of car-sharing services—likely out of fear they may take off and leave them caught out as they potentially resulted in dwindling new-car sales. This hasn’t really happened, however, with car sales remaining relatively strong and car-sharing services instead struggling to take off. Indeed, the “traditional” car ownership model continues to push forward as new mobility solutions, save for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, appear to be struggling to take off.