When you think of rideshare vehicles, Prius’ usually come to mind. But today we’re featuring a guest post from RSG reader Chris Munz, who gets around SF in his electric Nissan Leaf. Find out how he does it!
If you’d like to guest post on RSG, please send me an e-mail with a topic or two in mind and we’ll take it from there. I’m especially looking to start posting city-specific driving strategies and tips if you’ve got any.
My name is Chris Munz, I drive in the Bay Area for Uber, Lyft and most recently Sidecar. I have always enjoyed being the ‘Designated Driver’ and last year I resigned from my job, and started working for myself.
I am pursuing my own career now, and driving to make some money while I build the business. Lately, my life has been opening up, and I am making more choices than ever before.
I have been living in the Bay Area for years, but I still love the opportunity to explore it. I drive a Nissan Leaf electric car, which people said I shouldn’t do, but I make it work.
I have the option to quick charge once a day (manufacturing recommendation) and I take breaks from the apps while charging. I use three services for my car: Charge point (has 24/7 phone support), Evgo and Blink. My Blink card has been back ordered since January 6th but I can call them when I need to charge.
I have a range of about 80 miles per charge (2-6 hours). It would be nice to have a 200-300 mile range and 200 horsepower, with the same charging times. I would have gotten a Prius for this, but I like my 100% electric Leaf and I fit in it. The maintenance is about half from that of my previous vehicles, and at 6’6”, it even has enough legroom.
I have had the Leaf since November 2013. It is a great little car fitting me along with 3-4 passengers, and room for some luggage in the hatchback. I get out of the house by 6am, pick up some passengers and drive until I get down to 20-30% battery power.
Then I go offline and look for a place to charge up with the app Plug Share. I don’t use wall outlets at 120v (20 hour trickle charging), so I filter charging stations that are 240v or 480v in the city I am working that day.
There needs to be more 480v points and 240v’s because of people leaving their cars in the space all day, when their car is not being charged. The average cost is $4.50-60% or $7.50 for a 100% charge from 0-20%. But I only need around 40% to get home (I saved more money when gas was $4.00 a gallon vs now when it’s much lower).
Anyone with an electric car needs to have a way to charge with a 240v at home minimum. I have a cable (can do both 120v and 240v) and an outlet just for charging purposes.
My friends and family have gotten over my want for change and support me now. It takes some getting used to.
When I started out telling people about my new rideshare career, I got a resounding no. I wasn’t ready to drop everything all at once; waiting was a necessity, and I am still adjusting five months later. Everyone I talked to had ideas of what I should do, and I had to filter through all the information for what I needed.
I watch Harry, Brian, and Randy for trends on YouTube. I read articles from TheRideshareGuy.com and signed up for his newsletter. I know to error is human, and I am putting myself in a position to keep on going so I can improve.
When I need to ask a question I get in contact with support, and my curious nature really helps me to just ask. Getting out with an idea of what to do, and being patient is key for me.
I use Waze to get around town and learn while driving. I enjoy community apps so that I am interacting with people rather than just a computer program. I have a Bachelors of Fine Art in Filming Editing.
I am also an EMT, working toward becoming a firefighter (maybe a paramedic). I am going back to school for my Masters and Doctorate in Human Behavior, because people are interesting. Rideshare allows me the opportunity to meet more people.
I chose to start with Uber, then Lyft, then Sidecar because that is the order I heard about them. I signed up for Sidecar because of Harry, and so that I limit my down time.
What is the advantage of doing unnecessary work, when it doesn’t make you money or happy?
Filter down what you need for the most benefit. With an electric car I will be maximizing my drive time so that I can live the rest of my life.
My job is to get my passengers to their destination safely and with efficiency. Sharing is caring, so if I can answer any of your questions I will.
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Readers, what do you think about Chris’ story and his decision to drive for the big three with an electric car?