Uber Is Putting 10,000 New EVs on the Road

An image of BYD ev cars ready to be leased by Uber

10,000 new EVs will be making their way onto Aussie roads thanks to Uber. The rideshare company has announced a landmark partnership with the Chinese electric vehicle company Build Your Dreams (BYD) to provide ‘flexible and competitive’ financing on the new cars.

The company has said that it is a key part of its plan to become a “zero emissions platform” in Australia by 2040 by replacing as many internal combustion engine vehicles on the road as it can.

“Two-thirds of drivers have told us they want to make the switch to an EV, but the number one barrier to doing so is the upfront cost of the car,” Dom Taylor, General Manager of Uber Australia and New Zealand has said in a press release.

“Through our new partnership with EVDirect, we are addressing that challenge head-on. Our goal is to provide drivers and delivery people a range of flexible options that make it easier than ever to get behind the wheel of an EV.”

The company has been pushing toward a low-emission platform since announcing that as a target in 2020. Since then, they’ve halved the service fees for EV drivers on their platform and opened up charging solutions for them as well.

The new BYD vehicles will be available to hire through a new ‘Comfort Electric’ offer for Uber Business users with plans to roll it out across their options.

Uber has said that, in the third quarter of 2023, more than 1.2 million Uber rides were taken in an EV while the company had 2,400 vehicles operating on its platform. This is an increase of 2,300 since they started making EVs more attractive options.

The vehicles can be accessed through financing options with EVDirect, the official distributor of BYD vehicles in Australia. Full Ownership and Flexi Ownership options will be made available from Wednesday, giving drivers a pathway to both drive and own the EV vehicles.

Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, has said that the move is “welcome” and a “meaningful investment.”

“The financing available via EVDirect should encourage people who drive for Uber or deliver for Uber Eats to shift to EVs, which we know would have an outsized impact on reducing carbon emissions.”

BYD is offering their new Atto 3 model to Uber Drivers. The car company has seemingly come from nowhere to become one of the most dominant EV brands in Australia. Their recent announcement, the BYD Dolphin, is officially the cheapest EV you can buy at $38,890 before on-road costs.

EVDirect CEO Luke Todd has said that the company has sold more than 10,000 vehicles in the past 12 months, making it “the most successful automotive launch in Australia’s history.”

“That’s not just for EVs. That’s the most successful launch of all time.”

“With the record high fuel prices at the moment, there’s never been a better time to announce such an important opportunity to enable drivers and delivery people on Uber to transition to electric so seamlessly.”

Related: Japan Is Rolling Out Under-Road Technology That Charges Your EV on the Go

Related: No Such Thing as a Free Charge: The NRMA Is Ending Free EV Top Ups

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.