A new flexible lease pilot in California could see many Ubers swapping their ICE cars for a Mach-E.
There's a good chance your next Uber in California will be a Ford Mustang Mach-E. The automaker has launched a new pilot program for drivers of the e-hailing service, allowing them to lease the electric crossover for more customized periods of time.
Spearheaded by Ford Next - the Blue Oval's division that supports other businesses that complement Ford's goals - this pilot is said to be the first one of its kind between Uber and an automaker, with the combined goal for each to meet its electrification and emissions goals.
With the new Ford Drive program, Uber drivers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego can sign up for one of the new lease options for a Mach-E for between one and four months. The emission reduction benefits in a state where Uber is already the leading North American market for EV uptake are notable.
According to a SPARK! report by Uber, communities can see an emissions reduction benefit four times greater than an average car owner when high-mileage drivers take the plunge and switch to an EV.
Ford Next and Uber's initiative began in San Diego last year, but with the expansion to an additional two California cities, the emissions benefits are set to see a welcome boost. As of late 2022, almost 10% of all on-trip miles completed by Uber were in an EV, and that is set to rise as more e-hailing drivers switch from popular hybrid models.
Drivers interested in leasing a Mach-E can have the crossover delivered in two weeks, while payments and servicing are easily managed via the Ford Drive app. These drivers can also take advantage of the Zero Emissions incentive that allows them to earn $1 extra for every Uber Rides trip, up to $4,000 annually.
"We understand uptime and ease of use are critical to every rideshare driver," said Bill Knapp who heads up Ford Drive. "As more of them make the switch to electric vehicles, we're building the Ford Drive program around their unique needs. We're glad that the initial feedback on this venture has been so strong, and it's exciting to learn from these driver experiences to explore solutions supporting Uber and Ford's shared electrification goals."
The initiative with Ford will help to support Uber's goal to be a zero-emissions platform in both North America and Europe by 2030. This will be a requirement in some local regions, with New York City already saying earlier this year that every Uber and Lyft vehicle operating there must be a zero-emissions vehicle by 2030.
Elsewhere, Waymo said in April that its fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be retired and replaced by fully electric models like the Jaguar I-Pace and Zeekr prototype models exclusively.
Rideshare services are simply mirroring the changing automotive landscape, and we expect more initiatives like this one between the Ubers of the world and major automakers to spur on the shift to zero-emission vehicles.