Uber hopes to transition to a fully electric fleet by 2030, and Ford is chipping in ahead of schedule. The Blue Oval just launched an expansion of a pilot program that allows Uber drivers to lease the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric crossover on a flexible schedule to use it for their rideshare work.
The new Ford Drive pilot program makes the EVs available to Uber drivers for customizable time periods in select US markets. Rideshare workers typically rack up plenty of miles. Ford says when high-mileage drivers make the switch to EVs, it can help communities see four times the emissions reduction benefit compared to the average driver.
In addition to being good for the environment, and saving the drivers money, the pilot program is likely to help Uber more quickly transition its fleet from gas cars to EVs. Moreover, it should help promote EV adoption. We've learned that similar programs have encouraged many drivers to make the switch, and they often ended up with their own electric car down the road.
As you may remember, Ford Next teamed with Uber to launch this program back in 2022 in San Diego. The initial program relied on the single city and 150 Mustang Mach-E SUVs. Today marks an expansion of the program and a newly revamped leasing approach.
The new Ford Drive program was officially launched on June 1, 2023, in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In fact, LA will be getting its first EVs for use in the program today.
The flexible leases will allow rideshare workers to pick one to four-month terms, though the specifics vary by location. Drivers will receive their leased Mustang Mach-E within two weeks of placing their order. They can use the Ford Drive app to deal with payments and vehicle service. Bill Knapp, leader of Ford Drive shared in the press release:
“We understand uptime and ease of use are critical to every rideshare driver. As more of them make the switch to electric vehicles, we’re building the Ford Drive program around their unique needs. We’re glad that the initial feedback on this venture has been so strong, and it’s exciting to learn from these driver experiences to explore solutions supporting Uber and Ford’s shared electrification goals.”
Uber is already making notable progress with its future goal of being a zero-emissions platform. In California, 10 percent of all Uber trip miles were completed in a fully electric car in 2022. The company has promised to spend $800 million on incentives and resources to help push EV adoption and get drivers to make the switch.
Uber rideshare drivers in North America can earn an extra $1 Zero Emissions incentive on every Uber Rides trip. The incentive is capped at $4,000, but to have the potential to earn that much extra by driving an EV is a fantastic idea.