Uber Launches EV Service Featuring Polestars, Teslas

Uber is unveiling an EV service that will enable clients to specifically request an electric vehicle when they need a ride. This service, dubbed Uber Comfort Electric, will debut in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego as well as Dubai, and features fully electric cars made by Polestar and Tesla.

The launch comes approximately one year from the time the ride-hailing company announced that it was partnering with Hertz to avail a maximum of 50,000 electric vehicles made by Tesla to Uber drivers who wished to rent those vehicles by 2023. Polestar, part of Volvo, also penned an agreement to dedicate about 65,000 of its EVs to Hertz during the next five years.

In a press statement released by Uber, the company reiterated its commitment to be a net-zero platform by the end of 2040.  Uber added that it was taking steps on an ongoing basis to make it possible for its riders to access fully electric vehicles. Among the other steps that the company is taking is to add a cost calculator to the platform so that interested drivers can see how much it would cost them to make the switch to an EV. There is also a map that Uber drivers can refer to when they need to identify the different locations where charging facilities are available.

Another feature that was launched by Uber on the same day that Uber Comfort Electric was unveiled is the capability enabling travelers to coordinate their vehicle hire during each leg of a long trip that they are undertaking. For example, if you have a series of business meetings in different cities or states, Uber Travel allows you to arrange rides for all those legs of your journey so that you don’t have to use the app each time you arrive in a different city or state.

Uber Charter is another feature designed to enable the users of the app to book a bus in case one is making travel arrangements for a group. A partnership with US Coachways is the enabler of this charter service. Sports fans can now also order meals in advance so that they don’t have to line up at concession stands at different sports venues.

All these developments are intended to make the company more competitive when compared to its rivals and bolster its profits, which are currently being drained by new business segments as the company struggles to break even.

As thousands of these EVs become available for people who need an Uber ride, electric vehicles will no longer be a novelty to ordinary motorists. Consequently, the uptake of EVs made by sector players such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) may register an uptick.

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