Why Uber should go electric

This paper shows that electrifying ride hailing services’ will not only lead to substantial CO2 savings, but also means better economics for drivers across most vehicle segments in the five EU cities analysed1. Looking at costs over the whole use time of the vehicle for a typical ride-hailing driver (so-called total costs of ownership - TCO), the overall result is clear: medium BEVs2 are on average 14% cheaper to run than equivalent diesel, and up to 24% cheaper in Paris. Medium-size to large electric cars are the best option for drivers with access to home or depot charging in 12 out of 15 scenarios considered.

Access to slow charging is a key variable; the analysis finds that where drivers have the possibility to charge their EV either at home or at a depot, they can save up to €3,000 per year with an EV compared to an equivalent diesel car. EVs charging primarily at home or at a depot offer a better TCO across medium and large vehicle categories in almost all cities, with the exception of Brussels due to comparatively high EV purchase and public charging costs. However, drivers would be worse off in a scenario where they almost exclusively rely on public fast charging. These findings are consistent across all cities and clearly show that guaranteed access to home or near-home charging is crucial to maximise the TCO benefits of EVs. This is especially true for ride-hailing drivers, who unlike taxis don’t have the option to either slow charge at a depot or fast charge at taxi ranks.