Own a Tesla? Notice that the superchargers are getting busier? It’s not just increased electric vehicle ownership. It can also be attributed to increased EV rentals because of a partnership between Uber and Hertz.
Qualified Uber drivers can take advantage of the program to rent either a Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus or a Tesla Model 3 Long Range. Rentals start at $334 per week depending on location, according to Uber.
As of the end of June, 15,000 Uber drivers had rented through Hertz. That has to be crowding the chargers somewhat (as well as diminishing daily rental availability but that might not be an issue at a cost of $125 per day).
A friend who drives for Uber is intrigued by the idea of trading in his Chevy Equinox for the more luxurious Tesla sedan. He might want to run the numbers, though.
Uber pays drivers an additional $1 per trip up to a maximum of $4000, or about 12 weeks of rentals. They also receive a $40 credit from Uber for a ride to rent the Tesla initially. An Uber driver would have to do 333 trips a week to drive a Tesla for free before maxing out.
Renters can access Tesla’s Supercharger network with thousands of fast-charging locations across the US. Drivers can add up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes. That sounds appealing until one factors in the time spent to get to the Supercharger network and the time one must set aside waiting for available chargers. Uber drivers only get paid when their backseat is occupied.
Drivers can also use the EVGo network but those chargers aren’t as widespread as the Tesla network. They also tend to have fewer charging hookups at each location than the Tesla locations.
On the plus side, fuel costs, Uber claims, should drop from $50 to $100 per week for their average drivers. Also, Uber says Teslas are categorized as Uber Comfort trips, which creates more income for drivers.