General Motors and Lyft are revving up expansion plans for their vehicle rental program Express Drive. Their new destination: California and Colorado.

The carmaker and ridehailing service's Express Drive car rental project will give affordable vehicle access to Lyft drivers, the companies announced on Monday.

The short-term leases on GM vehicles, as seen in the Chicago operations, come complete with maintenance and insurance coverage for a weekly payment of $99 for up to eight weeks. Lyft drivers will also be allowed to rent a vehicle for free if they take on a minimum of 65 rides per week. They will only need to pay for gasoline expenses.

As Tech Times reported during the Express Drive launch in March, those who register fewer than 40 rides per week will pay $99.20 per mile, while those who clock in more will pay only the basic $99 weekly fee but are exempt from paying the mileage cost. The vehicles should be returned after eight weeks.

New Markets: San Francisco, LA, Denver

Aside from Chicago, the program also runs in Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. and will kick off this summer in San Francisco and later on in Los Angeles and Denver. The project, according to GM President Dan Ammann, has "dramatically exceeded expectations."

More than 130,000 individuals in those three key cities are hoping to become Lyft drivers, but they lack access to vehicles that meet Lyft's standards, officials from the ridehailing company say.

Vehicle options up for rent in California include the GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Equinox, along with the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which boasts a range of more than 200 miles.

"The Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volt are a perfect fit for ridesharing," Ammann says.

GM's Foray Into Carsharing And Ridesharing

Express Drive is part of GM's overall investment in Lyft worth $500 million. The deal also aims to introduce autonomous vehicles into the ridehailing space. Lyft believes it will benefit from GM's expertise when it comes to self-driving cars, while GM will gain access to Lyft's software.

The Detroit carmaker has a seat on Lyft's board.

In January, GM acquired another ridesharing service, SideCar, for an undisclosed amount. SideCar has since closed down. GM later launched its car-sharing service, Maven, while forging a partnership with Lyft.

This combination of a car lease program and a ridesharing service, coupled with ambitions to produce self-driving vehicles, is the first of its kind, making "car ownership optional for both drivers and passengers," says John Zimmer, president and cofounder of Lyft.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.