Uber passengers will soon see an influx of Teslas coming to pick them up.
The ride-hailing company announced a deal with Hertz on Wednesday that will make up to 50,000 Teslas available to Uber drivers by 2023. If successful, it could expand to more than 150,000 Teslas in the next three years.
The announcement came just days after Hertz ordered 100,000 Teslas in an effort to electrify its rental fleet. Neither Hertz nor Uber specified whether its Teslas for Uber drivers will be coming from that initial pool.
The program will have soft launches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1, but it’ll expand nationwide in the following weeks.
"Today's partnership with Uber is another major step forward in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem and executing on our commitment to being an environmentally forward company," Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields said in a news release. "We are creating the new Hertz and charting a dynamic, new course for the future of travel, mobility and the auto industry."
Climate experts consider the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) a crucial step in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions. Uber believes this partnership with Hertz will be a "win-win" for its drivers — reducing the environmental impact of the industry while realizing a chance to see higher earnings.
Uber announced a deal with Hertz on Oct. 27 that will make up to 50,000 Teslas available to Uber drivers by 2023. (Source: Hertz)
"Climate change is an urgent global challenge we must all tackle together, and now is the time to drive a green recovery from the pandemic," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. "This combines the power of Tesla, Hertz and Uber to help accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility. We look forward to seeing more EVs on the road right away."
In addition to saving money on gasoline, Uber’s Green Future Program provides incentives to drivers who transition from gas-powered cars to EVs.
"Research shows that when rideshare drivers go electric, they realize 3 to 4 times greater emissions savings than average car owners," Uber said.
Uber drivers can rent the Teslas for $334 per week — which includes maintenance and insurance. As the program gets underway, that price will fall to $299 or lower. They will also have access to the Tesla Supercharger network and Uber’s EVgo discounts.
Only drivers who have achieved a 4.7-star rating through at least 150 trips will be eligible.
Uber recognizes owning an EV is often more expensive than owning a gas-powered car. But the company hopes to see government leaders enact policies that would make EVs more accessible.
"We look forward to working with our partners and policymakers in the US and around the world to put policies in place that support equitable access to electrification, innovation, and climate progress," Uber said.
This story was reported from Atlanta.