Uber Pushes New Pilot Program To Encourage Drivers To Go Electric

JUN 24 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 10

Uber must work to rebuild its reputation after the tragic self-driving incident, and it’s turning to promote EV adoption.

This week, Uber announced that it’s forming a partnership with UC Davis researchers to find new methods to encourage electric vehicle adoption. The ride-sharing company has already started a pilot program in which it affords a bonus to Uber employees who drive EVs. Additionally, the company will add special EV-related features to its app.

Coined ‘EV Champions Initiative,’ the new program launched in seven markets. In each city, Uber will be testing out various incentive plans and benefits. The current pilot markets are Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Uber’s sustainability chief Adam Gromis explained:

We see the writing on the wall.

Unless we can be delivering a more efficient form of mobility, we won’t be providing a good solution that cities need. That’s why we’ve gone into bikes. That’s why we’re working with transit. That’s why we’re focused on electrification.

San Diego-based electric car drivers will earn an extra $1 per ride with a cap of $20 in bonus money per week. EV drivers in Pittsburgh already benefit from such a plan and now those in the San Francisco market will also receive the perk.

Los Angeles-based drivers will not get a monetary bonus, but instead, educational assistance related to EVs and saving money. Uber is sharing valuable information with them about the use of HOV lanes, area rebates for home charger installation, and the Southern California Edison clean fuel rebate, as well as state rebates and the overall benefits of being an EV owner.

Once more data is collected and research comes in, Uber plans to share it with policymakers in an attempt to garner support by promoting the program and its benefits. It also hopes this process will help electric vehicle drivers in general. Then, the ride-hailing company intends to adapt and expand the initiative while funneling more money into it.

Uber has also updated its smartphone app to help EV owners and ride-sharing customers. The app lets electric car drivers know about longer trip lengths in case they need to charge beforehand. It also alerts customers if they are going to be riding in an EV. This draws attention to the electric vehicles and allows people to make a more sustainable choice.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Categories: General

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10 Comments on "Uber Pushes New Pilot Program To Encourage Drivers To Go Electric"

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Quiviran

It’s so funny to see companies like Uber and Wells Fargo grovel and beg to get their reputations back. Uplyfting you might say.

Mark.ca

I always wondered why i don’t see more Ionic’s being used as Ubers. For the subscription plan they had at 20k miles /y for $300 per month it’s crazy how much you can save on gas alone. With it’s fast charging capabilities this car would be perfect. Oh, and they had 50k miles of free charging!!! You do all the math and substract the state credits and after all the savings your effective monthly was $55/month!
300×36-2950=7850 (total lease)
50000/30(30 mpg car)x3.5(gas price)=5833(gas savings)
(7850-5833)/36= crazy deal!!!

SparkEV

Ioniq EV are practically impossible to get. I’ve been searching, and there’s only one in all of SoCal (many advertise, none in stock).

Mark.ca

It’s a bad time of year, a few months ago there were more.
On Aurotrader they show 17 in SoCal…i say that’s plenty to choose one, don’t you think?

God/Bacardi

I ride in lyfts and ubers a lot, MSRP-wise its incredibly rare to get picked up in anything over a $30K MSRP and I’d guess 70% of the time I’m picked up in a sub $20K MSRP…If you can afford $30K vehicle including EVs after the credits, you probably don’t need to drive for a ride sharing service…

I’ll share the concerns…Time is money, majority drive like a bat out of hell, hard on the accelerator and brake pedal so factor in steep elevation climbs and your could be cut by a substantial amount…While you get free charging, time is money, you first have to ensure the charging station isn’t congested then have to wait around for it charge where as if you were in an ICE vehicle you could be making money…However, if Uber wants to buy them and rent them to drivers, I wouldn’t have any problems with that…

Mark.ca

So no problem then!
MSRP $31k
$7500 + $2500 + 450 = $10450 in credits
Total cost $20550
Is that cheap enough for you?
10% to 80% charging in 15 minutes.
Last uber ride took me to LAX was a fairly new A5.
But hey, if you don’t want to save that much money and feeling guilty for not paying your monthly dues to OPEC than maybe i can interest you in the plug in version which is under $20k after credits.

What other excuses you want me to debunk?

PS
Not sure about that msrp as i see on Autotrader new ones for $29300.

God/Bacardi

Lyft Express allows you to rent a Bolt and gives you free charging…That is the model that Uber should adopt…

SparkEV

Free charging SUCKS!!!!! I will not use Lyft service precisely because they are out to destroy EV adoption by using free charging.

Mark.ca

Sit down!
Relax! Not all the free charging sucks. Hyundai also was offering thi for Ionic on their subscription plan. You could charge AT HOME AND BE REIMBURSED. Feel better now?

Hunter Knight

San Diego Uber Driver with an EV here. Have been looking for more information about this for the past week, including calls/emails to Uber support, and have not been able to learn anything more about this program or how to start receiving the incentives. Fake program? Would Uber really do something like that?? 😉