Driving with Uber in a Chevrolet Volt
Uber, the ride sharing service, made its Ottawa debut on October 1st 2014. I did not know a thing about the ride sharing business, however a friend who was already registered as an Uber “Partner” (driver) with his Tesla Model S explained to me how Uber and ride sharing worked. It was then I started the process to become a driver with my 2012 Volt. By mid-November 2014, I was officially a Partner (driver) with Uber.
I was reluctant to drive with my 2012 Chevrolet Volt. I would be picking up random strangers and bring them to their destinations…in MY Volt ? Really ? Even so, I simply had to give it a try. Nervously, I turn my status to ”online” in the Uber app and within minutes, I get my first ”beep”. I accept the trip request and I was on my way to meet the rider and bring him to his destination. Then a 2nd ”beep” and a 3rd ”beep”… I loved the experience. I was hooked.
Most riders were aware of electric vehicles and very inquisitive. I answered more than 5000 questions in the last 32 months regarding my EV;
- “Is the Chevrolet Volt a hybrid?”
- “How does the Volt work?”
- “Do you simply plug in the electric vehicle to recharge the batteries?”
- “Have you heard about Tesla, the LEAF, the Kia Soul EV?”
- “Are there other electric vehicle manufacturers?”
- “How much does it impact your electricity bill at the end of the month?”
- …and that is just the beginning.
Uber trips with riders can last from 5 minutes up to 25 minutes. With such limited time, it is a challenge to find the answers to their different questions while driving safely on the streets shared with other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Trip after trip, I made the most of each opportunity to demystify electric vehicles. Riders enjoyed the silence, being driven to their destination without polluting; they liked the Volt’s interior look and the instant torque.
Before 2017, economically speaking, the best vehicle to drive with Uber was the Chevrolet Volt. The Tesla Model S was too expensive, the Nissan LEAF’s range was not sufficient because a Partner (driver) does not know the rider’s destination ahead of time. Ottawa did not have any DCQC. The Chevrolet Volt is electric and can also go long distances when using gas. Here is a table demonstrating the gas usage driving with Uber in my 2012 Volt :
|2014||Gas usage in litres|
|Grand Total||4151 litres|
When I calculate the gas and maintenance costs with Uber income, my expenses are around 10%. The Chevrolet Volt was the best vehicle to drive with Uber… that was before GM announced the Bolt EV’s arrival with its 383 km range.
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