The next Uber you take to get home at night or get to a work meeting early will most likely be a Tesla. Gasoline is still hovering above $5 in the United States, and rideshare drivers see Elon Musk’s luxury cars as an opportunity to cut costs.
According to data from GridWise, an app that provides predictive insights to help manage rideshares, the number of drivers and delivery people who have chosen to get behind the wheel of Tesla surged 186% in Maycompared to the previous year.
Some Uber and Lyft drivers have found that renting or buying a Tesla is the most profitable option now, amid inflationary hits hitting the gig economy. The trend also comes at a time when both Europe and North America plan to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.
From a Toyota Camry to a Tesla Model 3
An Uber driver told Bloomberg she decided to switch to Tesla because her Toyota Camry cost her $600 a week, just for gas, compared to the $450 she pays to rent and charge a Model 3.
Heidi Barnes, 34, spends $450 a week once freight costs are added to her $344-a-week lease, which is a savings of $150 a week on Camry fuel costs alone.
“It was a big step forward to get into a Tesla sooner rather than later,” said Barnes, who says a full tank of gas for his Camry had exploded from $60 to $100which prevented him from making a decent profit in Los Angeles County.
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The Tesla Model 3 standard sedan, with a range of 354 kilometers, a maximum speed of 200 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 96 km/h in 5.6 seconds, was launched in February 2019 at a price of $35,000.
Although lower in cost, it is designed to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-range version, which has the lowest chance of injury of any car ever tested by the US government. at that time.
Barnes opted to rent the standard Model 3 for an entire month through a Hertz franchisee, which has its own deal with Uber Technologies: a $344 weekly rate that includes insurance, basic maintenance and unlimited miles included. In his first week, Barnes’ earnings covered the cost of rent for the month.
In addition, Uber is offering an extra $1 per ride to drivers who switch to all-electric vehicles, which could earn them up to $4,000 a year under the San Francisco-based company’s Green Future program.
Last month, Uber updated its Driver app with an “EV Hub,” which has a charging map and makes riding in an EV a premium option for passengers.
Since launching its partnership with Hertz in November, Uber has seen more than 15,000 drivers hire Teslas. “The partnership has been really exciting,” Adam Gromis, the company’s sustainability public policy manager, said in an interview.
Uber has about 1 million drivers in the USaccording to The Rideshare Guy, a website dedicated to the ride sharing industry. At Lyft, EV growth is also at record levels, with EV usage up 27% since the first quarter. While Tesla is the EV that dominates the market, the company is also seeing significant growth from other manufacturers, notably Kia Corp.
Less expenses, better profits… and more tips
For Barnes, his new Tesla not only represents a huge saving in fuel costs, but also a substantial increase in tips. He has noticed that his trip is very popular with passengers and they become “much more generous,” he said.
“Usually I am lucky to receive tips of $1 to $3, but now they are US$10 or US$15sometimes constantly”. Total, earned over $2,600 in just 25 daysmore than double the $800 to $1,000 he normally got on his 2009 Camry.
Renting is a low-risk option for Uber and Lyft drivers like Barnes, who can’t afford to buy outright, especially after Tesla raised prices by as much as $6,000 per car.
But for other drivers, like 34-year-old Luis Martinez, taking on debt is riskier than waiting for gas prices to drop. Like Barnes, Martinez began looking to replace his 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid with an electric car in early March when gas prices soared.
It was around those dates when he decided on the Tesla Model 3 Long Range. “I was spending $800 on gas every month and I realized that I could put that money into a car that I can actually have,” the driver from Ventura, California told Bloomberg.
Priced at $58,000, Martinez took the loan. In one week, his $900 car payment is covered and he earns about $1,000 more in take-home pay from him.
Martinez said he had never taken out a car loan before. “I’m more stressed because I know I’ll have to drive at least to cover myself and I know the doubts will go away,” he said. When he decided to buy the Tesla, gasoline had exceeded 5 dollars. “There’s a lot of worry, but the math makes sense to me.”.