With the London Congestion Charge taking an increasing percentage of on-demand drivers’ earnings and the ULEZ charging zone expanding, drivers are beginning to seriously contemplate changing to electric PCO vehicles. But first and foremost:
Can an electric vehicle be used for Uber?
The short answer is yes. In fact, rideshare companies have begun looking into rewards to speed up the transition and make it easier for drivers to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles, with Uber launching their Clean Air Plan, Bolt publicising a Zero Emission Transition pilot, and more on-demand driving apps expected to follow suit.
However, there are numerous misconceptions about EV technology, including the assumption that electric vehicles are unsuitable for Uber driving. We investigated nine of the most popular urban legends to find out what that is and clear things up:
Myth #1: There is no way to charge an EV if you drive for Uber.
The majority of electric car charging is done at home; while it is slower than public charging stations most of the time, it is also cheaper and more convenient to charge overnight. However, if you reside in an apartment complex, it may appear that there are no alternatives for charging your vehicle. Thousands of new EV charging stations are being constructed around London.
How many electric vehicle charging stations are there in London?
According to ZapMap, there are over 40,000 public charging stations in the UK, spread over more than 15,000 places, with hundreds more being added every month. Although not as cost-effective as home charging, it is still much less expensive than filling up with gasoline or fuel.
Myth #2: You must charge an EV every day for Uber.
Uber drivers often travel between 100 and 150 miles every day. Most new electric vehicles have at least a 160-mile range with a full battery, and many models can travel 280 miles or more on a single charge.
Unlike regular automobiles, electric vehicles flourish in cities. While a regular engine would suffer from continual low-revving and brief stop-and-go cycles, electric motors don’t mind at all — they’re designed for it. Regenerative braking also charges the battery, allowing you to drive further in the city than on the highway.
Myth #3: EV batteries are short-lived and lose their range.
Electric vehicle batteries have been shown to be more durable than previously assumed. According to a recent Kia research, battery packs installed in Soul models lost slightly over 1% of their overall battery capacity on average over three years.
Most electric vehicles come with a battery warranty of at least 7 years or 100,000 miles, and repair prices are equivalent to changing the clutch on a petrol car.
Myth #4: EV charging takes too long for Uber drivers.
Home charging is slower, and it can take up to ten hours to completely charge a vehicle. This is best-accomplished overnight while you sleep – it may also be less expensive depending on your power supplier’s contract.
If you need a fast charge between those Uber rides, you can use a public charging station, which will give you an 80 % charge in a little over 30 minutes – the same as your smartphone.
Myth #5: EVs are slower than petrol cars.
Electric vehicles do not have a gearbox because they can provide maximum torque at all rpm. This means immediate, fast acceleration without losing momentum or wasting energy between gear changes. Most electric vehicles significantly outperform similar fuel vehicles from 0 to 60 mph. Overall, it means you can give your Uber clients a more comfortable journey in an EV.
Myth #6: EVs are prohibitively expensive for Uber.
If you want to buy in cash, electric vehicles are actually more expensive. However, there are various benefits in place to create buying an electric car more affordable:
• Rideshare platform incentives, such as Uber’s Clean Air Initiative and Bolt’s Zero Emission Transition trial, make having an electric PCO car with Arrow Car Hire more affordable every week.
• A daily saving of £15 on the Congestion Charge
• A weekly saving of at least £30 on fuel expenses
• Fewer moving parts mean less maintenance. Forget about oil changes, filters, flywheels, and the entire ignition and exhaust system; with regenerative braking, you may even save money on brakes because you won’t be using them as much.
Myth #7: You can’t charge EVs in the rain.
Water and electricity don’t generally mix, but neither do electric wires nor volatile substances – and yet we’ve been using that combination successfully for decades. Good-quality EV charging equipment is always insulated and waterproof, and it goes through numerous tests before it is made accessible to the general public.
The area of worry is usually while charging at home — not where the charger connects into the car, but at the other end of the wire if it comes into contact with a poor-quality power outlet, or worse, an electric cord that’s broken or interfered with. All of these concerns may be easily prevented if you get the outlet verified by an experienced electrician before putting your car into it and use a single high-quality, specialized charging cable (which often comes with the car).