Uber Technologies will offer 50,000 Tesla Inc automobiles as a rental option to its ride-hailing drivers by 2023 in partnership with Hertz, the ride-hailing company announced on Wednesday.
According to a blog post by the ride-hailing business, a Tesla car can be rented by Uber drivers through Hertz beginning on Nov. 1 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Washington, DC. The company also said that this service for its drivers will later be expanded into more locations cities in the United States later this year.
Only drivers of Uber would be able to rent the Tesla electric cars, which will mostly consist of Tesla’s Model 3 car. For the Uber drivers, the renting prices for the Tesla cars will start at $334 per week and will include insurance and maintenance.
With the expansion of this pilot project sometime next year, Uber will ultimately reduce the rental rate to $299 per week or less, the ride-hailing company said.
This latest strategic move announcement by Uber was preceded by Hertz’s announcement on Monday that it would order 100,000 Tesla vehicles by the end of 2022, which reportedly prompted Uber’s latest announcement.
Tesla’s stock soared after news of the company’s largest-ever order, pushing its market worth beyond $1 trillion
With Wednesday’s announcement, Uber has taken its most significant step yet in increasing the usage of electric vehicles on its platform. The plans of the company include using only electric vehicles for its services in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and for the rest of the world by 2040.
However, the higher EV sticker charges can only be afforded by a small percentage of drivers of the ride-hailing company. And according to Uber data, only 0.15 per cent of all Uber miles in the United States and Canada were traveled in electric vehicles in 2019.
Since drivers of ride-hailing companies spend more than a third of their time driving around empty and in search of a customer, such drivers are considered to emit more pollution per passenger-mile driven. According to studies, it is possible to save the same amount of emissions of CO2 by converting three ordinary gas-powered vehicles into electric vehicles by electrifying only one ride-hailing vehicle.
Hertz, which is coming out of bankruptcy, expects that focusing on electric vehicles would help the once-dominant brand stand out among competitors.
Partnerships with ride-hailing businesses are also being considered by automakers as a simple way to introduce non-fuel-powered vehicles to a wider audience.
There was no comment on the announcement from Tesla.
(Adapted from Latestly.com)