Uber is buying 50,000 Tesla cars to lend to its drivers as part of a larger strategy to electrify its fleet in the United States by 2030. The ride-hailing startup is collaborating with Hertz, which stated yesterday that it has placed an order for 100,000 Teslas.
The decision comes as car firms and transit providers throughout the world face regulatory pressure to phase out gas-powered vehicles in favour of zero-emission vehicles. California, the country’s largest auto market, has mandated that ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft have 90 percent of their fleets be electric by 2030.
Uber has historically provided discounts on car rentals to non-owned vehicle drivers, with Uber and Hertz collaborating on such a programme since 2016. However, until recently, they have never worked together to rent out a single vehicle to drivers.
Uber drivers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Washington, DC may rent a Tesla Model 3 from Hertz for $334 per week, including maintenance and insurance, starting November 1st. Uber claims that once the service is up and running, the weekly pricing would drop to $299 or less. In the next weeks, the programme will be rolled out across the country, with the objective of having all 50,000 Teslas on Uber’s network by 2023.
With a weekly charge of $334, it may be difficult to entice drivers to join the programme, but Uber is convinced that drivers will see the value in fuel savings and reduced maintenance. Additionally, drivers who pick up passengers in hybrid or electric vehicles receive an additional 50 cents every ride, with drivers using solely battery-electric vehicles receiving an additional dollar – for a total of $1.50 per ride. According to Autos.com, the average weekly cost of a Hertz rental car ranges from $150 to $325.
To rent a Tesla at first, drivers must have at least a 4.7-star rating and have completed at least 150 trips. Drivers will have access to Tesla’s Supercharger network as well as discounts at participating EVgo charging stations when it comes to recharging.
Uber announced last year that it would go “100% electric” in the United States, Canada, and Europe by 2030, and by 2040 for the rest of the world. The business also said that it would spend $800 million to help “hundreds of thousands of drivers in the United States, Canada, and Europe migrate to battery EVs by 2025” – though a representative wouldn’t provide the financial details of the contract with Hertz.
Uber’s past when it comes to automobile rentals and leasing isn’t exactly rosy. After drivers complained about building up debt to pay high rates, the business stopped down a subprime auto loan programme. This new scheme, according to Uber, is intended to appeal to drivers who rent, not to encourage drivers to switch from owning to renting.
When compared to individual car ownership, ride-hailing was originally marketed to the general public as a more environmentally responsible mode of transportation. It turned out, however, that the contrary was true. According to numerous studies, the average ride-hailing journey emits around 50% more pollution than a traditional automobile trip. Worse, in big cities, more than half of all ride-hailing trips are taken by people who would have otherwise taken a cleaner mode of transportation to their destination.
According to Bloomberg, just around 1% of ride-hailing vehicles in the United States are electric now. Even though electric vehicles account for less than 5% of annual sales, the auto industry is in the midst of a tremendous transformation to them.
Uber isn’t the only ride-hailing service to use Tesla vehicles. Revel, a moped rental firm, launched its own Uber-style ride-hailing service in New York City earlier this year, using 50 brilliant blue Tesla Model Y vehicles.
Rewritten from The Verge