Uber expands premium EV service Comfort Electric

Uber has expanded its Comfort Electric service to 24 US cities and Vancouver, Canada. The company had launched Comfort Electric to build on deals with rental companies like Hertz. The latter is helping Uber drivers get their hands on Tesla and other premium electric vehicles.

++ This article has been updated. Kindly continue reading below. ++

Uber Comfort Electric was made available four months ago in a few California cities. Now, Uber’s partnership with Hertz has helped the company expand the service, with more than 25,000 drivers renting a Tesla.

To recapture, Hertz, in October 2021, said it would provide 50,000 of 100,000 electric cars ordered from Tesla to Uber drivers in the United States. Drivers could rent Tesla cars from Hertz first in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington DC last autumn.

Uber and Hertz have been working together since 2016 to offer discounted car rental options.

Apart from Tesla cars, Uber also lists other premium EVs like Polestar and Ford’s Mustang Mach-E in today’s announcement. At least the Polestar cars are confirmed also coming through Hertz.

As with previous communications, the companies have not disclosed actual rates for drivers. Uber, however, suggests that drivers eligible for Comfort Electric can earn more per hour due to higher fares, gas savings, and an extra $1-per-trip incentive for each trip they complete.

Starting today, Uber Comfort Electric has been activated in the app in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore-Maryland, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New Jersey, NYC Suburbs, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Seattle, St Louis, Vancouver (Canada), in addition to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

This sounds not unlike Uber Green in Europe, where riders choose electric cars to pick them up. The service is primarily available in London (and some US markets), and Uber has been trying to facilitate electric car financing for drivers. Most recently, the company teamed up with fin-tech company Moove to provide drivers with electric vehicles through its rent-to-buy model. Moove aims to be the largest EV partner on Uber’s platform in London, with plans to scale to 10,000 cars by the end of 2025. However, this has yet to materialise.

Uber Comfort Electric also sits above Uber Green since it requires a premium in price and is premium EV-only. Uber Green, however, sometimes includes PHEV and hybrid cars.

Uber drivers may see their options to go electric in the ‘EV Hub’ available in the driver’s app.

Update 31 March 2023

Uber is expanding its premium electric vehicle offering Comfort Electric to 14 new cities across the US and Canada. According to the company, customers can book an EV in a total of 40 North American cities now.

The cities now added under the new expansion include Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Montreal, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

Uber also mentions the cooperation with Hertz, which attracted “nearly 50,000 drivers [who] have rented a Tesla through the program, completing more than 24 million electric trips”.

uber.com, engadget.com, techcrunch.com (both update)


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