Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company will not allow its drivers to use gas-powered cars past 2030. In a recent interview with CBS Morning, he said he doesn’t want gas-powered vehicles on the Uber Taxi platform past 2030. However, for a company that prides itself on being a platform and not a service provider with employees.
Electrifying a fleet they don’t even own may prove challenging. The foremost challenge for Uber in implementing electric vehicles is that they cannot give them to drivers. The Uber platform is built on the idea that you bring your car to them and drive it on their ride-hailing app. Drivers have a newer option, as Uber partnered with Hertz to allow drivers to rent vehicles weekly at a lower rate. Still, it remains the cost-inefficient option instead of using your vehicle.
Another challenge the company faces is the limited affordable electric vehicle options available to drivers. The best way to make money as a driver is to drive a cheaper vehicle that is cheap to maintain. While EVs are certainly cheap to maintain, they are often cost-prohibitive, especially for a driver that doesn’t want to be an Uber driver all the time.
Various EV options
The CEO states explicitly that automakers need to work towards providing EV options between $20-30,000 instead of the average $50-60,000 starting price that we see today. Even when a Tesla could give a driver with a significant bump in earnings and decreased cost of ownership, a $60,000 investment is a hard pill to swallow.
Some legacy automakers seem poised to take advantage of the lack of cheap EV offerings, but with Tesla continually raising prices on most of its products, they are only making themselves less viable for use cases such as Uber drivers. Hopefully, cheaper options are on the horizon. As a way to spur EV adoption within its driver base, Uber has implemented a new option on its platform that allows riders to select an EV, which is now available in 25 regions across the United States. It’s even giving drivers a dollar for every EV trip they take, and helping to pay for charging costs. In all, Uber plans to spend $800 million to offset the higher costs of electric cars for its drivers, says CBS. “We have a target to be fully electric in the U.S., Canada, and Europe,” Khosrowshahi told CBS. When asked whether any gas-powered cars will be allowed on Uber after that date, Khosrowshahi responded with, “No, if we’re doing our job we’re gonna be all-electric.”