Some Uber Technologies, Inc UBER and Lyft, Inc LYFT drivers found renting or buying a Tesla, Inc TSLA luxury electric car a relatively profitable option amid skyrocketing gas prices, Bloomberg reports.
The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. surpassed $4 for the first time in March, pinching the gig drivers by more than $100 per day, up from $60 a day, making it challenging to earn a decent profit.
Interestingly, a driver's earnings covered the monthly rental cost after renting a Tesla. Renting is a low-risk option for the gig drivers who cannot afford to buy a Tesla, especially after the EV maker hiked the prices.
The Tesla cars are also an instant hit, with the commuters helping the driver earn incremental tips. Uber has seen more than 15,000 drivers rent a Tesla since its partnership with Hertz in November.
In June, the national average for a gallon of gas topped $5, an all-time high since the American Automobile Association began collecting pricing data in 2000.
Gridwise app saw the number of ride-share and delivery drivers opting for Tesla jump 186% in May year on year. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft also look to switch entirely to EVs in Europe and North America by 2030.
Uber doles out an additional $1 per ride to drivers who switch to an EV helping them make $4,000 annually, Bloomberg wrote. Some drivers are therefore finding it worthwhile to risk a loan instead of waiting for gas prices to cool down.
In May, average ride-hailing transactions per customer at both Uber and Lyft jumped by 15% year on year. However, Uber has about 1 million Uber drivers in the U.S., which makes it impractical to accomplish U.S.'s EV goals within the stipulated period.
On average, an EV costs $61,000. The availability of charging stations is also limited in the U.S.
Recently, the gig drivers of Uber and Lyft prosecuted their companies for unfairly controlling the fares. They are already part of lawsuits over their classification as gig workers instead of employees, thereby limiting their benefits.
The friction and gas prices discouraged many workers from resuming service during pandemic recovery.
Price Action: TSLA shares traded higher by 0.18% at $736.05 in the premarket on the last check Tuesday.
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