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Uber driver switches to EV, saves money » Yale Climate Connections

Wesley Johnson is an Uber driver in San Francisco. For years, he picked up passengers in his Mercedes. And he spent a lot on fuel.

Johnson: “I was spending like $1,600, nothing less, a month, for gas.”

Plus, he had to deal with the wear and tear on his car, which can be pricey.

So when he heard that Uber and Hertz had partnered on a program to rent out electric vehicles to Uber drivers, Johnson was eager to give it a try.

He’s one of about 50,000 U.S. drivers who have rented a Tesla through the program since it launched two years ago.

He says he pays less to rent the Tesla than he did on gas. He’s saving on the cost of repairs and maintenance. And as an Uber driver, he gets a discount at some charging stations.

Johnson: “The money part, it was just, it was a no-brainer for me”

But the benefits of the program go beyond drivers’ finances.

Johnson says a lot of his passengers are excited to ride in an EV and curious for his thoughts on the car.

Johnson: “And so they ask, ‘Give me some pointers about the car, tell me the pros and the cons.’ And so, yeah, we have good conversations like that.”

So by getting more EVs on the road and giving people the chance to ride in one, the program could help more people decide to make the switch to a cleaner vehicle.

Reporting Credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media

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