Ford and Uber Join Forces to Offer Flexible Leases on Mustang Mach-E to California Uber Drivers in Landmark EV Program

Published by
Matthew Martins
  • Ford has launched a pilot program, Ford Drive, providing Uber drivers in three California cities with flexible leases on Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles.
  • The partnership between Ford and Uber aims to support Uber’s commitment to transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles by 2030 and marks the first direct collaboration between Uber and an automaker.
  • Participating Uber drivers can choose one to four-month leases, with rates varying by city. The program offers affordable rates and the opportunity to qualify for Uber’s zero emission incentive.

Ford has unveiled an ambitious pilot program, Ford Drive, which aims to provide Uber drivers in three California cities with access to flexible leases on the highly popular Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles. This groundbreaking partnership between Ford and Uber represents a significant step toward achieving the companies’ shared vision of transitioning to zero-emissions transportation.

The program, initiated by Ford Next, a division within Ford that focuses on incubating and launching new businesses aligned with the company’s objectives, was officially launched on Thursday. San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles were selected as the pilot cities due to their strategic importance and Uber’s substantial presence in these areas.

Uber has committed $800 million to assist its drivers in North America and Europe in transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles by 2030. While the ride-hailing giant has previously collaborated with car rental firms such as Hertz, Zevvy, and Hive to offer affordable and flexible electric vehicle leases, this marks the first time Uber has partnered directly with an automaker.

The collaboration with Ford enables Uber to bypass intermediaries and streamline the process of getting electric vehicles into the hands of its drivers. By joining forces, the two companies are effectively testing a new model that eliminates the middleman and promotes a more direct approach to achieving their shared sustainability goals.

California, which represents Uber’s largest market, is also the only state that has enacted legislation mandating that all ride-hail trips must be conducted using zero-emissions vehicles by 2030. Uber has made notable progress in this regard, with nearly 10% of on-trip miles in California completed using fully electric vehicles by the end of 2022, according to the company’s data. Across the United States and Canada, the figure stands at approximately 4.1%, as indicated in Uber’s recent sustainability report.

The success of a previous lease program trial in San Diego played a pivotal role in the decision to expand the initiative. More than 150 Uber drivers in San Diego leased Mustang Mach-Es, and an impressive 80% of them opted to continue with Ford Drive. Although the exact number of vehicles available for lease in the extended pilot was not disclosed, the high demand demonstrated by the initial trial suggests that the program has resonated with drivers.

Under the Ford Drive program, participating Uber drivers will enjoy the flexibility of selecting leases ranging from one to four months, depending on their location. Lease rates will vary by city, but a Ford spokesperson revealed that they could start at approximately $199 per week for 500 miles or $249 per week for 1,000 miles. In the event that drivers exceed the mileage limit, they will be charged an additional $0.20 per mile. Furthermore, Uber drivers who participate in the program will be eligible for the company’s zero-emission incentive, which rewards them with $1 per trip conducted in an electric vehicle, with a maximum annual payout of $4,000.

To meet the demand generated by the program, the Ford Drive team will collaborate closely with local dealerships to procure a dedicated fleet of Mustang Mach-Es for leasing to Uber ride-hail drivers. Once an order is placed, drivers can expect delivery of their vehicles within a two-week timeframe. Payment and servicing will be handled through the Ford Drive app, while local dealerships will manage the maintenance and repairs of the vehicles.

While no specific end date has been set for the pilot program, Ford and Uber have not ruled out potential expansion into additional cities or markets. Although the program is exclusively accessible through the Uber Marketplace, Uber drivers are not restricted from using the leased Mach-Es for Lyft rides. Given that many ride-hail drivers operate on multiple platforms, this flexibility allows them to seamlessly switch between Uber and Lyft as needed.

Matthew Martins

Published by
Matthew Martins

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