An Uber driver has more than doubled her monthly tips after she swapped out her Toyota Camry for a Tesla Model 3.
Heidi Barnes says that in a 25-day period she made $2,600 in tips alone after switching to the electric vehicle, which is a huge increase from the $800-$1,000 that she would make in her ICE vehicle. “Usually I’m lucky to get $1 to $3 tips but it’s now $10 or $15, sometimes consecutively,” Barnes told Bloomberg.
Customers are “a lot more generous,” said Barnes, who mostly drives around the Los Angeles area. She’s one of 15,000 drivers who have switched to a Tesla since Hertz made a deal with the brand in October of 2021, an increase of 186% since May of 2021.
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The switch came at a perfect time for drivers, just as gas prices are shooting through the roof. Barnes also said that the rise in gasoline costs made her regular fill-up jump from around $60 to $100.
Not having to pay a dime for gasoline means that drivers can pocket that extra cash, and the benefits don’t end there either, Uber itself offers drivers a $1-per-ride incentive if they use a zero-emissions vehicle rather than a traditional ICE one.
Although Heidi is leasing the Tesla, the costs are still much less than the Camry. All in, it costs only around $450 a month to run the Tesla, compared to over $600 for the fuel alone in the Toyota.
The weekly rental rate from Hertz for a Tesla is $344, but that includes insurance, basic maintenance, and unlimited miles.