November 29, 2023

Smartcar and Uber partner to accelerate rideshare’s transition to electric

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

Smartcar is excited to announce that we’re partnering with Uber to make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to take on trips without any range anxiety.

With Smartcar’s connected car platform, eligible EV drivers on Uber can ensure that they’re only assigned rides within their remaining battery range. This feature aims to create a comfortable and convenient experience for both drivers and riders using EVs on the Uber app. At launch, the feature will be available to drivers of select makes and models, with plans to expand.

Making EVs rideshare-friendly

This feature is essential in promoting driver and rider satisfaction as Uber aims to transition all drivers to zero-emission vehicles.

A survey of drivers using the Uber platform found charging anxiety was a key barrier to drivers choosing to lease or purchase an electric vehicle. Range anxiety could prompt drivers not to accept otherwise attractive trips, or prompt them to charge more often than needed. This led Uber’s teams to develop a Battery-Aware Matching feature in the Driver app, which Smartcar’s connected car platform is helping power, to help make charging seamless — not stressful.

“We’re excited about the early feedback from drivers,” said Michael Alexander, Uber’s Head of Sustainability Product. “Drivers who’ve used Battery-Aware Matching during initial testing tell us they’re less likely to run out of battery and less likely to cancel rides because they’re too long.”

Meanwhile, 40% of U.S. Uber users who ride in an EV say it's their first time in one, further strengthening the platform's position as a key influencer of transportation decarbonization. A frustrating experience on an EV trip could deter these passengers from choosing greener ride options in the future.

Automatic EV range checks, better ride-matching

With Smartcar, Uber can access an EV's battery level without any aftermarket hardware, such as OBD-II dongles. The app can automatically get instant visibility into an EV’s estimated remaining range and filter out trips that exceed this distance.

Smartcar and Uber are both committed to protecting the privacy of drivers and vehicle data. To access this feature, drivers must first enable the option to share their vehicle data with Uber within the Uber app.

Drivers only need to connect their cars once to access this feature for all future rides. They can then smoothly connect their car in just a few clicks via Smartcar's onboarding flow. This onboarding flow, Smartcar Connect, ensures drivers only share necessary data permissions with Uber.

“Electric vehicles are the future of ride-sharing, and we are proud to partner with Uber to help make this transition a reality. This collaboration will play a key role in making it easier for Uber drivers to make the switch to an electric vehicle without having to worry about range anxiety,” says Sahas Katta, CEO and Co-founder at Smartcar.

Building a future of zero-emission ridesharing

This partnership is a step toward making EV transportation more accessible and convenient for everyone.

Uber aims to be a zero-emission platform in US and Canadian cities by 2030, aiming to be completely carbon-free by 2040 globally. Helping drivers go electric is at the heart of Uber’s strategy, and the company is devoting $800 million in resources to support drivers in making the switch. The platform has launched efforts to remove barriers in the transition from gas-powered vehicles to EVs — including driver savings for fast charging networks and at-home EV charging solutions, as well as discounts and offers to help make accessing an EV easier.

With Smartcar-powered visibility into EV battery ranges, Uber can continue to support drivers with tools and resources that enhance the EV driver experience on the platform. The aim is that this new feature will help to reduce range anxiety for EV drivers and make the platform more attractive to riders who are looking for sustainable transportation options.

Vehicle brands, logos, and model names belong to their respective trademark holders and do not indicate endorsement or affiliation with Smartcar or Uber.

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