Apr 3, 2023 - Business

Uber brings EV option Comfort Electric to Tampa Bay

Image courtesy of Uber

Uber started offering Tampa Bay users the ability to request an electric vehicle on Thursday.

State of play: Through Comfort Electric, ride-share customers can expect to get picked up in a Tesla, Polestar or a Ford Mustang Mach-E, Uber says.

Why it matters: Ride-hailers now have a new option to reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Yes, but: It's pricier than Uber's most affordable option, Uber X. Comfort Electric rides are typically priced between Uber Comfort — which pairs customers with highly rated drivers in newer vehicles — and Uber Black, the service's premium car option.

The big picture: The expansion of the EV service into Tampa Bay, and 13 other North American cities, is part of the company's push to become emission-free in the U.S. and Europe by 2030.

  • It's also made possible by a partnership with Hertz, which announced a new initiative this year to help make EVs and chargers more accessible.

By the numbers: In Q3 2022, about 38,000 monthly active battery EV drivers completed nearly 20 million Uber trips in the U.S., Canada and Europe — a quadruple increase over the same period a year prior.

  • Last year, active Uber EV drivers around the globe avoided using over 12.5 million gallons of gasoline, according to the service.

What they're saying: Local environmental advocates have different takes on the service.

  • Kristina Moreta, development director of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, told Axios that even though the service isn't the cheapest Uber option, it will still be worth it for those who want to cut down their emissions.
  • "The people who care and who want to make a difference don't really mind paying that little bit extra," she said.

Javier Guerrero, president of the Tampa Bay Electric Vehicle Association, said using only luxury EVs is limiting the potential of the service.

  • "If you don't have mass-production vehicles, there's going to be no mass adoption," Guerrero told Axios.

What's ahead: Uber is offering a 25% discount — up to $10 off — for riders who request Comfort Electric rides between April 11-30, with the code: GOELECTRIC.


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