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Uber drivers are liking the Teslas

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The ride-hailing company announced over 15,000 drivers signed up to rent Teslas through its partnership with Hertz

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Uber’s plan to electrify its driver fleet by 2030 seems to be off to a good start. The ride-hailing company announced today that over 15,000 Uber drivers have signed on to rent Tesla vehicles through its partnership with car rental company Hertz. Uber claims the deal is its “largest-ever expansion” of EVs on a mobility platform in North America and that there have already been more than 5 million Tesla rides driving over 40 million miles since the program started last year.

The popularity and demand for electric vehicles are at an all-time high for consumers, especially with the increased cost of gas. The same is true for Uber drivers, who are responsible for the costs associated with refueling the vehicles no matter what it runs on. “The program is a win for drivers, who are expressing pride in being part of the climate solution and are welcoming increased earnings through gas savings, electric vehicle incentives, and tips,” said Uber SVP of mobility and business ops Andrew Macdonald in a statement.

Uber’s own assessment of their drivers’ all-electric experience was glowingly positive. “It handles the mileage really well,” said one driver. Uber claims that 95 percent of drivers renting Teslas through Hertz have not driven an EV on the platform before, and 92 percent of them are now considering their next vehicle purchase to be an EV.

News of Hertz’s initial purchase of 100,000 Tesla vehicles late last year sparked a lot of attention, helped by a big ad campaign starring Tom Brady. The deal also propelled Tesla to become a trillion-dollar company. Hertz announced a sizable 65,000-unit order of Polestar 2 vehicles in April, which should be available for rental by the end of the year.

Uber drivers that are interested in renting a Tesla must have completed at least 150 trips and maintain a 4.85-star rating to be eligible. It costs about $300 a week to rent the Tesla, and drivers receive an extra dollar per trip (max $4,000 a year) and are enrolled in the company’s newer “Uber Green” ride-hailing category.

It’s not available everywhere yet, but qualified drivers can sign up in the following cities:

Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis - St. Paul, Nashville, New Jersey, New Orleans, NYC Suburbs, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington D.C.