Weekly Round-Up: Uber Driver Claims Switching to Tesla Saved Him $1,000 a Month

At RSG, we advocate for going green with driving EVs and hybrids. In this edition of our weekly round-up, one gentleman from San Francisco claimed that switching to a Tesla has saved him $1,000 a month in gas and maintenance costs compared to his previous gas-powered vehicle—a Mercedes S550.

Meet A 64-Year-Old San Francisco Uber Driver Who Says Switching To A Tesla Has Saved Him More Than $1,000 A Month On Gas And Maintenance


Wesley Johnson, 64, uses his San Francisco Uber driver income to offer financial support to his four children and seven grandchildren. He says switching to a Tesla will help him pull in more money over time by reducing costs.

Johnson is semi-retired but told Insider he drives roughly 40 hours weekly for Uber — 12 hours Thursday through Saturday and four hours on Sunday. He’s brought in more than $50,000 in revenue over the last year, according to documents viewed by Insider. But being a driver also means paying for gas and vehicle maintenance, which can add up and eat into take-home profits.

These extra expenses are why Johnson — who’s completed over 19,000 trips since 2014 and has a 4.96 rating — was intrigued when he heard about Uber’s partnership with Hertz earlier this year, which would allow him to rent an electric vehicle. He’s been driving a long-range Tesla for the past four months and thinks it will make his gig work more profitable.

Uber driver discusses renting a long-range Tesla for four months while driving for Uber
Uber driver discusses renting a long-range Tesla for four months while driving for Uber.

My Take

Obviously, this savings is going to vary from driver to driver. Some vehicles take a lot more gas and maintenance than others. Also, if you look at RSG’s Gabe Ets-Hokin, he’s tried out the Tesla and switched back to his preferred Chevy Bolt in the past.

Tesla isn’t for everyone, but there are so many other options for EVs out there, with more and more on the way each year. Learn about Harry’s favorite EVs for rideshare drivers.

As Uber and Lyft continue aiming for zero carbon emissions, they will push drivers to switch from gas to electric.

Uber and Lyft’s Pricey Electric Vehicle Problem


Ride-hailing companies have big plans to go electric, with Uber and Lyft aiming to only offer zero-emission rides in the US and Canada by 2030. They will have difficulty hitting that target unless more affordable offerings emerge quickly.

Ride-hailing electrification has outpaced privately owned passenger vehicles in China, Europe, and India. In the US, the EV share of privately owned passenger vehicles is higher than that of the ride-hailing fleet….

My Take

On the other side of the coin, while there may be a lot of EV options, they aren’t always the most affordable options out there. Or if they are affordable, they might not have the range people want, especially rideshare drivers.

I recently had to buy a new-to-me vehicle, which cost way less than your average EV, and I expect with good upkeep and safe driving, I could have this car for another 5-10 years. It wasn’t affordable or feasible for me to buy an EV. My electric panel is full, so I’d have to install another one to accommodate most EVs.

It’s a hard sell to get people to make that switch, especially with more affordable gas-powered vehicles readily available.

Minneapolis Considers Minimum Wage For Uber, Lyft Drivers


City Council members said Tuesday at a news conference that drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies would get a minimum wage in Minneapolis if a city ordinance passes as early as next month.

Under the ordinance, drivers would get at least $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute, or $5, whichever is greater. The rule would only apply to the portion of the ride within the city.

Uber and Lyft “cannot continue to collect billions of dollars off the backs of drivers, like the ones here today, while those very drivers struggle to cover their rent, childcare costs, health care bills, and so many other basic necessities,” said Minneapolis council member Robin Wonsley, who identifies as a democratic socialist and is the lead author of the proposed ordinance….

My Take

Recently, Minnesota’s Governor Tim Walz vetoed a bill that would have enacted higher pay and job security for Uber and Lyft drivers. Under this new ordinance being proposed, there would be a set minimum wage for rides taking place within the city of Minneapolis. If the ride is only partially in the city, it would be in effect for those times and not the rest of the ride.

Time will tell if these will take effect and become the norm. Last time, when Walz was considering the bill, Uber and Lyft were threatening to pull out of Minnesota, which seemed to have left a ripple effect for rideshare drivers I spoke with who saw lower-than-average numbers around the time it was being vetoed, lasting almost a month.

The United States Of Tipping: When And Where Riders Tip Most


The United States may be the most tip-happy country in the world. It’s become an integral part of our culture and our economy. But it’s also a bit of a mystery.

Tipping rates vary by state, time of day, and activity. If only there was data that could shed some light on tipping behavior across the country! Good news: There is — at least for rideshare. Over seven years and millions of rides, Lyft has gained tons of insights into where and when people tip. Here is a detailed look at the United States of Tipping.

percent of rides tipped
Map of Percent of Rides Tipped

This map depicts the percentage of Lyft rides for each state where a passenger left a tip. Darker shades of red indicate states where passengers were most likely to leave a tip at the end of their ride.

My Take

Tipping is always a hot topic in the rideshare and delivery world. This article might help you know where tipping is hotter.

Maybe you’re considering driving or delivering in your area. Is it known for tipping? Or maybe you’re looking to move somewhere and want to continue your gig work.

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