Uber is looking to launch its first electric car services in Chicago, announcing a partnership with Chinese EV manufacturer Build Your Dream to add the first 25 cars.
It's not the first electric cars driven by Uber drivers but it's the first time Uber has offered buying and leasing options for an electric car. Drivers seem to be digging the $200 per week rent on the BYD e6 option.
The BYD e6 offers more room than the Tesla Model S and other all-electric vehicles, making it more advantageous for Uber drivers to own one of these cars.
It's odd to see Uber partner with a Chinese company since its main operations are in the United States and Europe. Perhaps, by way of partnership, it will find an easier time with the Chinese government's current blockade against mobile taxi services.
BYD e6 is already used in London and Hong Kong by taxi companies, clearly showing the precedent for the car in terms of space and mileage. The range is only 186 miles compared to the 250+ on the Tesla Model S but that's still enough for most taxi drivers.
Uber has launched a variation of services like Black, X and Lux, allowing customers to choose the car they want to be picked up in. This has been criticized by some taxi companies as it allows the customer to choose their pick-up and makes regular taxi services redundant.
Source: China Topix
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