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Uber, Lyft drivers shift to Teslas amid high gas prices

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As gas prices reach new highs, ride-sharing drivers are opting for electric vehicles to save money.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: All right, well, as gas prices continue to soar, and if you listen to [INAUDIBLE], he's saying that they're heading much higher again. Drivers are ditching their gas powered cars for EVs. Uber and Lyft drivers are part of this trend, saying that renting or buying a Tesla is a more profitable option.

And Dave, there was a Bloomberg report on this, saying that they've seen nearly a 200% jump in the number of Uber and Lyft drivers driving a Tesla this year, compared to a year ago. And one of the Uber drivers that was quoted in this article saying that it actually helps her with tips. Instead of getting 1 to 3 bucks, she could get $10 to $15 just for driving the Tesla.

DAVE BRIGGS: I'm glad that-- that stunned me. You're talking about 10x, according to this one driver, albeit I was shocked by the 186% increase, in particular because the cost of Teslas is so prohibitive. I did not know Uber or Lyft drivers could even get in that game. But the rental aspect of it is really interesting, where Uber has a partnership with Hertz. And they say 15,000 drivers are actually renting Teslas. And they've made it somewhat affordable, $344 a week all in, with taxes and everything.

So, look, it is an interesting move. And they're saying that the passengers really like it. I think the affordability of the EVs has to come down, at least as far as Tesla's. Maybe that Chevy Equinox that they're targeting below 30 grand, that could really be a game changer for Uber or Lyft drivers, Rachelle.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And as you mentioned, Dave, there are, obviously, cheaper EV alternatives out there, where you do have your Ubers and your Lyfts partnering with these companies so that you don't have to pay everything upfront if you're one of these drivers. You can sort of pay-- you take something out of your earnings, and that goes towards a payment on the car. So I think this is a smart partnership.

I think, obviously, people have something of an infatuation with Tesla. So if perhaps people who've never ridden in one, they're more likely to say, you know, yeah, I'll tip a bit more. This is nice. And when you think of the long-term, if you see what gas prices are doing and you're thinking long-term, this is where the future is, where you don't have to pay as much for gas. It makes sense if you're an Uber or Lyft driver.

SEANA SMITH: As long as you can find those recharging stations, the charging stations. That's still the big issue when it comes to EVs.

DAVE BRIGGS: Should we congratulate Tesla CEO Elon Musk? Today is his birthday.

SEANA SMITH: I knew you were gonna bring that up.

DAVE BRIGGS: I feel like if Elon--

SEANA SMITH: There's no way we're going to go through the two hours without you mentioning it.

DAVE BRIGGS: Happy birthday, Elon Musk. He turns 51 today. I think he deserves some data. He wants some data on the bots. Come on, help him out, Twitter. Give him a nice birthday gift. I don't know what you guys are getting him.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: He's an overachiever. At 51, I mean, the dancing needs work, but the energy is there. He certainly stays busy between Twitter and Tesla and SpaceX and everything else. So happy birthday to him, indeed.

DAVE BRIGGS: That's right.

SEANA SMITH: We need to figure out what he's up to. Rachel, our executive producer, just got in our ears and told us he actually hasn't tweeted in just about a week. So maybe he's out really, really celebrating that 51st birthday. Who knows?