The next time you hail an Uber in Chicago, you might be greeted with an electric car you've never seen before. That's because the car service has partnered with Chinese carmaker BYD to let Uber drivers rent or lease the company's electric e6 wagon. The vehicle, which can get up to 186 miles per charge, is already used in some taxi fleets around the world. Reuters reports that Uber has been running a pilot program with the electric cars for a few weeks in Chicago, and 25 drivers are already on the road with the vehicle.
The program, which is aimed at low-cost Uber X drivers, offers traditional leases as well as a $200-per-week rental that lets drivers use the vehicle during their Uber shifts. The cars are sold and managed out of a local Chicago dealership, Green Wheels USA, and is part of existing Uber efforts to hook its drivers up with cars that they can buy, rent, or lease. According to Reuters, an Uber spokesperson says the program could expand to other cities in the future.