With fuel prices high, electric cars have become relatively cheaper to operate. One Uber driver in Los Angeles found that switching from a Toyota to a Tesla actually saved her money…then found that her tips doubled.
Uber Driver Makes Lucrative Switch To Tesla As Her Expenses Drop And Tips Double
When gas prices climbed significantly this year, Heidi Barnes faced a challenge. Even with higher user rates, utilizing her Toyota Camry for Uber did not make sense. She was spending $600/week in fuel, tipping was tepid, and it appeared like it was time to find another gig.
But then she switched to a Tesla Model 3, which she estimates costs her about $450/week to rent and charge. Hertz now rents Tesla vehicles and charges about $344/week for insurance, basic maintenance, and unlimited miles. The other $100 covered charging fees.
The $150/week in savings was nice, but then came the tips.
Barnes told Bloomberg:
“Usually I’m lucky to get $1 to $3 tips but it’s now $10 or $15, sometimes consecutively.”
Over a 25-day period driving the Tesla, she made $2,600 in tips, compared to her average of $800-$1,000 driving her Camry.
We have debated tipping on Uber on Live and Let’s Fly. It’s a thorny topic because the original premise of the rideshare company was that your “tip” was included. I’m rather fascinated by Barnes’ experience and don’t view it as an anomaly.
I’m a big Telsa fan and I live in LA. I get that people love Tesla and understand why Barnes receives extra tips when she drives. Even so, I found it an amazing insight, even if just one anecdote, into our tipping culture.
As an added bonus, Uber offers a $1 per ride bonus to drivers who switch to an electrical vehicle (up to a maximum of $4,000/year under its Green Future program).
A Tesla driver in LA lowered her expenses and doubled her tips by switching to Tesla. As Telsa becomes even more common, look for more when using Uber.
If you are an Uber driver who has driven multiple cars, do you see higher tips in “nicer” cars? To riders, does the car type (versus cleanliness of the vehicle or friendliness of the driver) influence how much you tip?