Ford pilot program offers Uber drivers in California flexible Mach-E leases

Image Credits: Ford

Ford has launched a pilot program that will give Uber drivers access to flexible leases for Mustang Mach-E models in three California cities.

The pilot program, called Ford Drive, launched Thursday in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is an initiative of Ford Next, a division within Ford that incubates and launches new businesses that align with Ford’s goals.

The partnership is in line with Uber’s $800 million commitment to help drivers on its platform switch to zero-emission vehicles in North America and Europe by 2030. Uber has already partnered with car rental companies like Hertz , Zevvy and Hive to offer affordable and flexible electric vehicles. leases its rideshare drivers, but this is the first time the company has worked directly with an automaker.

The result? With this pilot, Ford and Uber are effectively testing cutting out the middleman.

The pilot is rolling out in California, the state that represents Uber’s largest market. It’s also the only state to have passed legislation requiring hail rides to be in zero-emission vehicles by 2030. Uber appears to be making progress in that direction, at least in California. By the end of 2022, about 10% of trip miles in California will be completed in all-electric vehicles, according to Uber. In the US and Canada, that number hovers around 4.1%, according to Uber’s sustainability report.

Uber and Ford first tested a similar leasing program in San Diego last year. Uber drivers ended up renting more than 150 Mach-Es, and today more than 80% commute to Ford Drive. Ford did not share how many vehicles it will make available to Uber drivers as part of the extended pilot.

Participating drivers will be able to choose between one-month and four-month leases, depending on location. Rates will vary by city, but will look like $199 a week for 500 miles or $249 a week for 1,000 miles, according to a Ford spokesperson. If drivers end up using more miles, they will pay $0.20 per mile. Uber drivers can also qualify for the company’s zero-emissions incentive, which pays them $1 per trip taken in an EV, up to $4,000 annually.

The Ford Drive team will work with local dealers to purchase a fleet of Mach-Es specifically to rent to Uber drivers. By placing an order, drivers can expect delivery of the vehicle within two weeks. They will use the Ford Drive app to handle payments and service, while local dealerships handle service and maintenance for the cars.

There is no set completion date or public expansion plans to other cities or customers. Although the program is exclusively accessible through the Uber Marketplace, it does not restrict Uber drivers from using Mach-Es for Lyft rides. Since many rideshare drivers operate on multiple platforms, they often switch between Uber and Lyft.