SAN DIEGO — Starting next week, your next Uber ride may leave a smaller carbon footprint.
The ride-sharing company is partnering with Tesla and the car rental company Hertz, to get more electric vehicles on San Diego roads.
San Diego is one of four cities to start Tesla's new venture with Hertz on Monday and Hertz plans to order 100,000 electric cars by the end of next year.
Uber says its partnership with Tesla will be a good deal for both drivers and the environment. It's expected to lower gasoline costs for drivers and also offers a leasing option to those who don't have their own car.
Tufan, an Uber driver, said he started driving for Uber in San Diego just last year.
"I moved here from the East Coast about a year ago and when I came, I didn't have a car, so I didn't have another option but to rent a car from Hertz," he said.
The program is also rolling out in San Francisco, Los Angeles and D.C. For Uber drivers that lease with Hertz, there's no long-term commitment and the lease will include basic maintenance and unlimited mileage. Rentals will start at $334 a week including insurance and will consist mostly of Tesla's Model 3 Sedan.
"I may have to give it a try because the gas prices are really high. If it's gonna save me money on gas, if it'll be for my own advantage, why not? I'll give it a try," Tufan said.
Uber says drivers will have access to more than 800 EVgo Fast Charging stations and can earn up to an additional $4,000 a year for driving an electric car under the Green Future program.
Bee Mittermiller volunteers with San Diego 350 and said 40% of greenhouse gas emissions stem from the transportation sector.
"Yes. Short-term, electric cars are good because they replace internal combustion engines, but they aren't the whole answer to solving the climate crisis," Mittermiller said.
Mittermiller also said ultimately, getting people out of cars and onto public transportation will have the biggest impact on cutting emissions.
Uber says it plans to be a zero-emission car company by 2040 and partnering with Hertz is simply another step in reaching that goal.
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