Last year, Hertz announced its intention to ‘electrify’ its fleet of rental cars with the purchase of 100,000 Tesla Model 3 vehicles. At the same time, Hertz announced a partnership with Uber that would provide its drivers with access to the aforementioned Tesla vehicles. Over the course of the partnership, 50,000 Tesla vehicles will be made available to Uber drivers, with the potential to include more vehicles if the program is successful. As of this week, Hertz announced that 15,000 Tesla vehicles are now in the hands of its drivers in more than 30 US cities.
Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s senior vice president of mobility and business operations, revealed that the partnership is well underway and already a great success. “To date, more than 15,000 drivers have rented a Tesla through this program – and they’re making a real impact,” he shared. “Together they’ve completed more than five million fully-electric trips and driven over 40 million electric miles.”
Canadians can also now rent the Tesla Model 3 through Hertz, as the company has brought the Model 3 to select airports across Canada. According to a Drive Tesla Canada, Hertz is charging $214 per day for the Model 3, and $568 for a weekend rental (pickup Friday and return Sunday) at Toronto Pearson. However, it is not yet clear if the Tesla and Hertz rental program will be extended to Canadian Uber drivers.
In the US, Uber drivers reportedly pay only US$334 a week to rent the Model 3, with insurance and maintenance included. As gas prices continue to rise, some drivers are reporting over US$160 a week in gas savings alone. “When I had a gas car, I would spend [US]$25-30 dollars a day [on gasoline],” Manuel Barros, an Uber driver in Boston and one of the first to take advantage of the Tesla rental program, told Elektrec. “I’m saving almost [US]$160 a week, if not more, driving an electric vehicle.”
To sweeten the deal, Uber is also rewarding an extra US$1 per trip to drivers of battery-electric vehicles for up to US$4,000 per year, and recently launched the “Comfort Electric” feature which pays drivers more when Uber users select an electric vehicle for their trip.
According to Uber, the initiative has been well received by drivers. So well, in fact, that the majority (92 per cent) of drivers renting a Tesla through the program for the first time are now considering purchasing an EV.
“I was always curious as to how an electric vehicle could handle the mileage you put on your car when doing Uber. It handles the mileage really well. I want to buy a [Tesla] Model S eventually,” explained Raphael Veira, who drives for Uber in Los Angeles. “This was a perfect opportunity to see how they drive.