As of November 1, drivers will be able to rent 2021 Tesla Model 3s through the Hertz rental program in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, DC. This program will expand nationwide in the following weeks, and there will be up to 50,000 Teslas made available for Uber drivers to rent.
Wonder what it’s like driving for Uber with a Tesla? We tried it! Check out our article on what it’s like driving for Uber with a Tesla Model 3.
Interested in getting an electric vehicle to drive for rideshare or have questions about it? Make sure to join our EV Facebook group here.
Uber, Hertz and Tesla Partnership
The biggest benefits to renting a Tesla through the Hertz & Uber program are:
- Gas savings (of course)
- Increased per-trip earnings potential – the Green Future Program provides for $1/trip incentive up to $4,000
- Access to Tesla’s Supercharger network
- Access to Uber’s EVgo charging discounts
Uber also noted in their press release that they know owning an electric vehicle is often more expensive than a traditional, gas-powered vehicle, and they will continue to work with government leaders to bring down the cost of EV ownership.
Not yet an Uber driver but interested in trying this out? Sign up to drive with Uber here.
This option, at least for the start, will not be available for all drivers. Instead, it will only be available to drivers who have at least a 4.7-star rating and have completed at least 150 trips on the platform.
New drivers, be aware that you cannot start out driving for Uber and expect to be able to get a Tesla to get going. You’d have to have experience on the app before being eligible.
This is also only available to Uber drivers who are eligible to complete passenger trips. It’s not for Uber Eats.
What is it like driving with a Tesla? Check out our video: Gig Workers & Uber Drivers: What’s It Like Driving A Tesla For Rideshare!
How to Sign Up
If you live in a city where this is available and are eligible, you can go to the Vehicle Marketplace and choose Hertz to find an available Tesla near you and reserve your car.
If you want to rent a Tesla but it’s not available in your area yet, check out the Uber Vehicle Marketplace and join their waitlist.
Let us know if you try and are able to sign up! As of now, one of our California contributors tried to sign up but didn’t find any availability – there’s likely high demand for them!
Impact on Drivers
What does this mean for drivers? According to Uber, it’s a win-win, but how? Drivers would be eliminating gas from their daily expenses, for one. With the price of gas continually on the rise, it’s been a common complaint of drivers who have to shell out more and more money upfront to make their gigwork possible.
While there are ways to save money on gas, there’s nothing to compare to not having to pay for it in the first place. Electricity tends to be much more affordable when used as fuel.
In our article about driving for Uber with a Tesla Model 3, contributor Gabe found that “driving a new Model 3 40,000 miles a year will run you about 22 cents per mile, although those numbers can vary depending on maintenance and electricity costs.”
In addition, switching to an EV like a Tesla can virtually eliminate more than 90% of your vehicle maintenance needs and costs. According to Consumer Reports, “the typical total ownership savings over the life of most EVs ranges from $6,000 to $10,000.” In fuel savings alone, Consumer Reports found that the typical EV owner saves an average of $800-1000 a year over an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle.
Aside from the cost of gas, it won’t necessarily cost drivers more to rent a Tesla than any other vehicle on the Uber Hertz rental program. Through the current program, in the Minneapolis market, you can rent a Hertz vehicle for use with Uber starting at $260 a week.
According to Uber’s announcement, the Tesla rentals will start out at a rate of $334* per week and fall to $299 or lower as the program gains traction. This includes insurance and maintenance.
*What about taxes? Good question! As Uber notes on its website: “Please visit the rental company’s website for a full description of the terms and conditions applicable to your rental, including whether taxes, gas, and other applicable fees are included or excluded.” So taxes may or may not be included already!
Then, there’s the added bonus of decreasing your carbon footprint. Some drivers may not care about this aspect, but others will embrace it.
And finally, drivers who use electric vehicles have the chance to earn more. There are incentives added to Uber Green trips, and Teslas qualify for Uber Comfort trips, which earn more than the standard UberX.
What Drivers Are Saying
Overall, when we asked our readers about their opinions on this news, the reaction was mixed. It appears as if there is a lot of concern about range anxiety, the time it takes to charge the vehicle, and “the electric grid.”
Much of this is something Uber, and companies investing in electric vehicles, can overcome. Every year, the range on vehicles gets better, as does charging, so eventually, concerns about this will diminish.
As Harry noted in a recent tweet, this news could be huge for drivers in cities that have a lot of demand. As he points out:
“You can rent a Tesla Model 3 now for $1,450/month and no maintenance worries and drive on Uber. You go drive 40 hrs a week in LA and easily earn $1,000.
Now you’re earning $2,550 a month and are driving a Tesla! From nothing.”
The key takeaways:
- $334/week – If you end up having to pay $334 per week, that comes to around $1300/mo
- In this scenario, you would probably want to drive full time (30-40 hours a week) in a lucrative market
- $4000 in earnings (in LA) minus around $1300 in the Tesla rental still comes out to $2700/mo – and don’t forget, that cost for the rental could come down. We are quoting the rental price on the higher side.
As Harry points out about, drivers in Los Angeles can earn $1,000 a week at 40hrs/week. But is that possible in your city? In the cities where Hertz Teslas + Uber are, the answer may be yes!
But, you may be saying, isn’t is cheaper to buy a car on your own? Yes (probably not a Tesla, though). There are several cheap cars for rideshare drivers if you have the credit to do so.
However, for those drivers who have low to no credit and don’t have a steady job, or a car, then this could be a great option for them.
As we always say, it’s all about what you can earn through smart driver strategies, and knowing your city well.
If you can earn much more per week than the cost of the Tesla/Hertz rental and completely remove gas costs, you could come out ahead of most traditional, gas-powered car drivers. Plus… it’s a Tesla!
Do you already drive an EV or are you interested in driving one? Make sure to join our Uber & Lyft EV Drivers Facebook group!
If this program is available in your city, do you think you would sign up and try it out?
-Paula @ RSG