Ford to Offer Mustang Mach-E Leases to Uber Drivers in LA, San Diego, and San Francisco
Uber drivers in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco will soon have another option when it comes to switching to electric vehicles (EVs). Ford and Uber have announced an expansion of their Drive pilot program, which will now offer flexible leases of the Mustang Mach-E to rideshare drivers in these cities. The program allows operators to lease the Mach-E for durations ranging from one to four months, with delivery of the vehicle within two weeks. Payments and maintenance can be managed through the Ford Drive app.
The cost of the lease starts at $199 per week with 500 included miles, or $249 per week with 1,000 miles. Additional miles beyond the allotted limit are charged at a rate of 20 cents per mile. While this may seem expensive, Ford is banking on the appeal of hassle-free exits and renewals for drivers. Uber workers will be able to lease the vehicles when they have sufficient driving time to justify the expense.
The Drive pilot program was initially tested in San Diego last year with over 150 Mustang Mach-E cars in the fleet. Although the companies have not disclosed the exact results of the initial run, they highlight that California represents Uber’s strongest market for EV demand. Ford states that nearly 10 percent of all passenger miles were completed in EVs in California by late 2022.
To qualify for the program, drivers must have a minimum rating of 4.85 stars and have completed over 150 trips. The Mustang Mach-E offered through the program is a rear-wheel drive model with a range of 247 miles and includes CoPilot360 driver aids.
This lease option aligns with Uber’s objective of transitioning to a zero-emissions service in North America and Europe by 2030. It provides a more viable EV solution for drivers who are unable to commit to a purchase or long-term lease. Uber also incentivizes the program by offering an additional $1 per ride (up to $4,000 per year) and the opportunity to serve premium Comfort Electric passengers. However, Uber’s motivation is not solely driven by choice, as California has mandated that most ride-hailing cars must be electric by 2030, with similar goals in New York City.
On the other hand, Ford benefits from the program by placing the Mustang Mach-E in the hands of rideshare drivers who would otherwise rent a Tesla EV through Hertz. This increased exposure for the Ford brand is beneficial for passengers as well and supports Ford’s ambition to establish itself as a comprehensive mobility company. However, Ford faces stiff competition from Tesla’s substantial market presence. The Hertz deal alone is expected to put up to 50,000 Tesla EVs on American roads, making it challenging for Ford’s Drive pilot program to compete at its current scale.