Sometimes, a temporary plan works out so well it becomes more permanent.
Tesla fan and YouTuber Andy Slye never had any intention of being an Uber or Lyft driver. Instead, he applied for jobs to drive for the ridesharing companies in order to use some of the footage in his videos. More specifically, Slye picked people up and recorded their reactions to riding in the Tesla Model 3.
We can also look at Slye's plan as a form of EV advocacy. Many people still know very little about electric cars. Picking them up in a Tesla will surely open their eyes and may even be an early step in converting them.
Slye hasn't driven heavily for Uber or Lyft, but he does still pick people up on occasion. Thus far, he's completed just 16 trips for a grand total of 108 miles. This is because he only accepts riders that request premium rides, which are rare but pay more.
Using an EV for ridesharing is a smart choice on many levels. First of all, your only real expense is charging the car, and that's going to cost you less than it would to gas up a traditional car. Also, when it comes to tax time, you'll likely benefit more than you would if you used an ICE vehicle. Slye explains the situation in greater detail.
Check out the video, as well as the written details below. Then, let us know what you think in the comment section.
Video Description via Andy Slye on YouTube:
How I make $75/hour driving a Tesla Model 3 & why it's a great business car
Sign up for Lyft: https://geni.us/DriveLyft & Uber: https://geni.us/DriveUber
Get Free Supercharging when ordering a Model 3: http://geni.us/t3sla
I mainly applied for Lyft & Uber so I could do the video I did last year where I surprised people by picking them up in my Model 3 and filming their reactions. That video ended up going semi viral after Elon liked it on Twitter & Tesla tweeted it out to their 3 million followers, so these numbers are based off a limited number of trips that I've completed on Uber & Lyft. Having said that, I almost always enable Lyft when I drive my Model 3 but not because I’m actively looking to pick up riders.
First I'll show you an example of how much I’ve earned with my Model 3 then I’ll give you some of my best tips if you’re thinking about doing it yourself.
These numbers are based on my first 16 rides given on Uber & Lyft. The time and distance for these 16 rides add up to a total of 3.3 hours and 108 miles traveled which resulted in $245 of total income. However, to get a better idea of the true hourly income we need to take into account mileage expenses and estimated income taxes.
When it comes to deducting mileage expenses there are two ways to do it: deduct all actual vehicle expenses or deduct the standard business mileage rate set by the IRS which, in 2019, is 58 cents per mile. Anytime you have the Lyft or Uber driver app enabled you can claim a deduction of 58 cents per mile driven. But that standard mileage rate was originally designed for gasoline vehicles in hopes that the 58 cents per mile deduction would be a fair rate to cover all expenses including things like gas and maintenance. But we all know with a fully electric Tesla there are no gas expenses or oil changes or any other maintenance related to an internal combustion engine vehicle for that matter.
When I deduct 58 cents per mile for the 108 miles I drove, it comes to a total deduction of about $62. And the only other expense we need to account for is the cost to charge the Model 3 which will almost always be much cheaper than gas but it also depends on your location and your electricity rate. So now we can take our total income of $245 minus $56.81 in estimated tax & charging costs, and that comes to a net hourly rate of about $57/hour.
Of course this hourly rate does not include the time driving without a ride request, but here's my secret: 99% of the time that I drive with Lyft or Uber enabled I'm not specifically looking to pick up riders. And here's why: Since all Tesla models are considered "luxury" cars they are eligible for premium rides which essentially means the rate earned is double that of a normal ride request. So when I go out and drive for Lyft or Uber, I have it set to only accept premium ride requests. This does two things: It lessens the chance of getting a ride request because the majority of riders are requesting normal rides, and you make more money per ride given because it's a premium ride in a luxury car.
This is the perfect setup because any time I drive somewhere when I’m by myself all I have to do is leave about 10 minutes early, and then I can turn on Lyft and since it's only set to accept premium rides I hardly ever get a ride request so it doesn't really inconvenience me and if I do happen to get a ride request, it's worth it because it's a premium ride which earns more money than a normal ride request.
And since I have my own side business with YouTube & videography, being able to claim almost every single mile I drive adds up to a sizable business deduction which lowers my income tax bill. For example: so far in the first 5 months of 2019 I've driven 9,080 business miles, the majority of which have been from just enabling Lyft anytime I drive and the deduction is already up to $5,266. This is why I think if you drive a lot and have any type of business or self employment income, ride sharing a Tesla Model 3 is a great way to build up a big tax deduction while keeping expenses low.
But even if you don't have a business I still think it's a great idea to consider ridesharing a Tesla Model 3 for these main reasons:
For most it will be their first ride in a #TeslaModel3 and since it's so futuristic and unique it's exciting for people to ride in it and all my riders so far have been genuinely intrigued by the #Model3 which I believe has led to better tips.
#Tesla plans to announce their own autonomous ride sharing platform which will allow Tesla owners to let their cars go out and ride share with nobody driving whenever full self driving is made legal.