Uber Can Connect To Tesla App, Offer Drivers Rides That Fit In EV's Range - CleanTechnica (2024)

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Working as an Uber or Lyft (or both) driver in an EV can be challenging. How do I know? I did it for about 50,000 miles in a 2018 Nissan LEAF. Trying to do that in an EV that lacks liquid cooling in a hot city like Phoenix didn’t turn out to be a great idea, but talking to fellow drivers, it was pretty clear that many of the other challenges still applied, even in a Tesla.

One of the biggest challenges was range. Ideally, you want to keep yourself available for rides as much as possible to keep making money, but that requires balancing the need to charge with the need to be available. What makes that even more challenging is that you don’t get to decide what rides you’re offered, because rideshare companies can’t predict future customer needs. A customer might need to only go a few blocks, or they might need a very long ride between cities, or anything in between.

And, really, it’s the long rides you hope to get whenever you can. Getting a 50-mile ride means getting paid continuously for time and miles, but getting 50 1-mile rides means you are not getting paid for all the time between rides, limiting your potential for income during the course of a day. So, you don’t want to get your battery too low doing a bunch of short rides and then miss out on the big fish that really pushes the day’s income forward.

One way to avoid that is to work in a city with a bunch of DC fast charging stations. That way, you can keep running and topping off between rides to stay prepared for the big fish to bite. But drivers don’t usually choose what city they work in, because Ubering is often a side job or something people do between jobs. If nothing else, people just aren’t going to uproot to a city with better charging for a relatively low-paying job.

So, the challenge is really more of how to fit the EV you own or lease/rent, the city you’re working in, and the rideshare job all together to maximize profits. That’s no small challenge!

How I Coped With It

One tool the rideshare apps had when I did it was a “destination mode.” It let you choose a point you’d prefer to get rides towards, essentially filtering out rides that went in the wrong direction. I’d start the day at home with a full charge (when the apartment’s charging station was working), willing to go in any direction, and then start setting the destination back toward the parts of town with a charger. When the charge got too low, I’d leave the app and head to a charger near the airport. Once at 80%, I’d try for a long ride.

But one of the big problems with this method is that I’d still occasionally hook a big fish I couldn’t reel in. Sometimes, there’d be a really good ride out of the airport that the car didn’t have enough range for, and refusing the ride could get you kicked out of the virtual queue for passengers. Other times, there’d just be a random long ride that unexpectedly came up that would have been nice, but that I didn’t have enough range for. Those times were always a bummer.

Uber Has A New Tool For Tesla Drivers That Could Help With This

The @Uber app can now access your @Tesla account, with your permission, to give you rides according to your car’s real time battery range. ⚡️🔋 pic.twitter.com/cCCoQ4iEaH

— Sofiaan Fraval (@Sofiaan) May 25, 2023

I haven’t driven for Uber in years, but I found a Tweet with a very interesting screenshot. Apparently, you can now connect the Uber app to the Tesla app to let the app be aware of your vehicle’s state of charge. I couldn’t check for myself to see what the details under the asterisk were, but it appears to filter out rides that the app figures you can’t complete on your current charge.

How This Could Be Helpful

The obvious upside to this feature is that it would only give you rides that you can do. Turning down rides used to eventually incur you a penalty if you did it enough times, so not getting offered clearly impossible rides is advantageous. You obviously wouldn’t want to do this with a low charge, because you wouldn’t get any rides. But, at a higher state of charge, drivers will get rides they can actually do without needing to worry about rejecting any.

How This Still Doesn’t Help

While this automatic filter helps, there are still problems that can crop up with such a limited implementation.

The biggest problem is that the Uber app is probably not aware of the charging network. If you have 100 miles of range and the app gives you a 99-mile ride away from all charging opportunities, you’d finish the ride up the creek without a paddle. [Editor’s note: My impression is that, by connecting to the Tesla app, it will also use the built-in navigation, which finds and adds Supercharging automatically as needed.] There’s also the possibility of longer rides that rely on charging networks, such as those between cities. While we might assume that a passenger would prefer a gas car for a long ride, services like Uber are likely to not have that option available in the future, so they’ll need to factor that in at some point.

Really, this points toward a much wider problem: the underlying assumptions that differ as the world switches from gas to electric. To get from here to there, we have to stop trying to find ways to wire around the differences and build the whole system around EV assumptions. It wouldn’t be fair to say that Uber isn’t doing that. It’s making EVs more readily available to drivers, helping with education, and otherwise moving toward the goal of making Uber an electric service.

An Even Bigger Question

It’s hard at this point to not think more widely about the future of ridesharing services. Tesla fans will say that the whole system is going to end up in Tesla’s hands, with an FSD-based Tesla Network dominating the market. But that doesn’t mean that services like Uber and Lyft won’t try to continue operating using alternative self-driving systems, or that companies like Waymo, Cruise, or Ford’s new autonomy division won’t still be competitors.

There are also important questions about the future of the car itself. Will we even want to order an autonomous vehicle to take us on long trips if we could just as easily take better transit options that could emerge and potentially be cheaper? Will AI technology make speed of transport less urgent?

Obviously, we can’t answer every question about the future of transportation here, but these are all questions worth thinking about before worrying about integrating EVs into a long-term plan.

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Uber Can Connect To Tesla App, Offer Drivers Rides That Fit In EV's Range - CleanTechnica (2024)


Can you connect Uber driver app to Tesla? ›

We can cast the Uber Driver app to Tesla's big touchscreen while driving, and we can even manipulate the Uber app on Tesla's touchscreen directly. If you are an Uber driver driving a Tesla, it is not safe to use the Uber Driver app while driving.

What does Tesla qualify for on Uber? ›

Qualify for Uber Comfort

Teslas are eligible for Uber Comfort trips, which riders pay a little extra for.

Why are Uber drivers driving Tesla's? ›

Uber is working with Tesla to encourage its drivers to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) as part of its broader goal to be emissions-free in the U.S. and Canada by 2030, the ride-hailing company tells Axios exclusively.

Is EV good for Uber? ›

Drivers who've made the switch say their new EVs are comfortable and easy to maintain, and that their riders also love the quieter, smoother trips.

How does Tesla connect to app? ›

Log in to the Tesla mobile app by entering your Tesla account credentials. Enable mobile access to your Model 3 by touching Controls > Safety > Allow Mobile Access. Turn your phone's Bluetooth setting ON and ensure that Bluetooth is turned on within your phone's global settings for the Tesla mobile app.

How do I get a driver access to my Tesla? ›

To add a driver to your vehicle, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Tesla app.
  2. Select the vehicle you want to add a driver to.
  3. Tap 'Security & Drivers. '
  4. Tap 'Manage Drivers. '
  5. Follow the prompts to send an invitation to the driver you want to add.

Do Tesla Uber drivers make more money? ›

Higher Earnings Potential: Driving a luxury car like a Tesla can qualify them for higher-paying ride categories like Uber Black, which can increase earnings.

Which Tesla is best for Uber? ›

Which Tesla is more practical for Uber drivers? The Model Y feels like it was designed to make life easier for a private-hire driver. That giant cargo space is a blessing – and it has secret tricks too. You can instantly fold-down each of the rear seats fully flat by pressing a quick-release button in the boot.

Do Tesla workers get free Tesla? ›

The Tesla Employee Purchase Program: Exploring Beyond Cars

One notable program is the Tesla Employee Purchase Program. Despite not offering car discounts, it gives employees access to a range of benefits.

Is Uber Black still a thing? ›

We've expanded our Livery coverage for Uber Black drivers in 2024! We provide 'excellent' rated coverage for thousands of drivers in the US – including California.

Does Tesla monitor your driving? ›

Rewarding Safe Driving

We base your premium on how you drive.* We use existing technology in our vehicles to track your real-time driving behavior, no additional hardware required. Tesla does not share your data or monitor your location—your data stays with you.

Does Tesla monitor the driver? ›

Driver Drowsiness Warning monitors driver attentiveness as well as driving behavior to determine patterns indicative of drowsiness. When driver drowsiness is detected, an alert is displayed on the touchscreen in the cards area and an alert is sounded.

Does Uber Green pay more? ›

After you've been matched with a driver, you'll see their picture and vehicle details and can track their arrival on the map, just like any other Uber option. Drivers on an Uber Green trip will receive the same fare as an Uber X trip. Note: Uber Green is available in certain cities only.

Is Tesla Model Y Uber premium? ›

It's also fast, fun to drive, and gives your passengers the sense of prestige premium ride services like Select, Comfort Electric, and even Black (which the Model Y qualifies for on both Lyft and Uber with commercial insurance and other requirements).

Does Uber pay more for hybrid? ›

A major hurdle to converting to electric vehicles is cost. To help drivers make the switch, Uber drivers will earn an extra 50 cents per ride for hybrid vehicles and $1.50 extra for fully-electric vehicles in more than 15 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Can you do Uber black with Tesla? ›

It's also fast, fun to drive, and gives your passengers the sense of prestige premium ride services like Select, Comfort Electric, and even Black (which the Model Y qualifies for on both Lyft and Uber with commercial insurance and other requirements).


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