Rideshare drivers switching to electric vehicles to beat gas prices

·2 min read

Despite the record high gas prices, ride shares like Uber say they saw an increase in drivers with May being the apps best month in terms of active drivers since before the pandemic. But those drivers are still having trouble making a profit.

In the rideshare world this driver is known as Kojak. “Who loves ya baby?,” joked Kojak. But Kojak and most drivers are not loving these prices. “We are feeling the pain every day,” said Kojak, “what we used to make the profit get lower because the gas is taken from the profit.”

When the gas prices started spiraling up, both Uber and Lyft put a gas surcharge into place where drivers can collect a 55 cent gas fee per ride. Electric vehicle drivers also get the fee. Both apps still have it. Uber telling us “We know drivers are feeling the sting of record-high prices at the pump so we are temporarily extending the gas surcharge on rides trips.”

Uber says the surcharge is to soften the burden of higher prices, not cover all of the cost of gas. Many drivers are now using using more fuel-efficient vehicles like hybrid and electric. “it’s easy to charge, easy to connect,” said an EV driver, “240 miles I can drive so after that you need to come back and charge it”

There are incentives to help motivate rideshares to go electric by offering free charge up stations at some locations like the rideshare waiting lot at Logan.  One EV driver told us he doesn’t even notice the high gas prices anymore.  “I don’t even check it,” the driver joked.

AAA says the average price of gas went up another nickel overnight hitting $4.84.

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