Your Uber ride is getting an electric upgrade.
By 2023, Uber is expected to provide 50,000 Tesla cars available to rent for its U.S. drivers.
Starting on Nov. 1, Uber drivers will be able to rent Teslas via Hertz’s rental program beginning in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Washington DC. A nationwide rollout will launch in the weeks following.
This news comes off the heels of Hertz ordering 100,000 Teslas to build the largest electric vehicle fleet in North America. The cars are expected to be delivered in full by the end of 2022 — if that actually happens.
In essence, half of Hertz’s fleet will be offered to Uber, but it’s not yet clear how many will be available for the November launch. And it’s notably the latest incentive Uber has announced amid the ongoing national driver shortage.
The Hertz’s bet on Tesla has resulted in Tesla Inc.’s shares skyrocketing, sending the company’s value past $1 trillion on Monday, according to Bloomberg.
On Uber’s part, the move aligns with its zero-emissions goal. The company has encouraged the use of EVs for a while now, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced last year that Uber hopes to have 100 percent of their trips conducted on EVs or other zero-emission modes of transport. It has also committed to donating $800 million in resources to drivers, facilitating the transition to EVs, by 2025, but details on this are vague.
“We believe this will be a win-win for drivers who rent: a chance to both increase earnings and reduce environmental impact,” reads a press statement, written by Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s SVP of mobility and business operations.
The company acknowledged that EVs are notably expensive compared to gas-powered vehicles, their more traditional counterparts.
“This is a critical challenge that we all must continue tackling together with government leaders through smart policy to bring the cost of EV ownership in line with or below gas-powered cars,” Macdonald writes.
The current program will have Teslas costing $334 per week, but later dropping to $299. It’s a fair bit more than $260 a week, which is the starting price for Uber rentals. The price encompasses insurance and maintenance. Drivers who are hoping to rent a Tesla will currently need at least a 4.7-star rating, as per Hertz requirements.
There’s no indication as to how many of Uber’s U.S. drivers (there are a million of them) will turn to Tesla. And of course, everything depends on when all the Teslas actually arrive.