Ride Share Driving with a Tesla Model 3

July 8, 2021

Rideshare Driving with a Tesla Model 3 

Ben­jamin West­by next to his Tes­la, dressed in a Yeti suit for his Ele­men­tary School's staff Christ­mas party

Rideshare dri­ving is a pop­u­lar side-hus­tle or full-time job. Dri­ving an elec­tric vehi­cle may be the best way to max­i­mize your earn­ings as dri­vers don’t need to shell out large amounts of mon­ey for gas, or pay for more com­mon oil changes as a result of high­er mileage. Ben­jamin West­by, 5th grade teacher and Tes­la Mod­el 3 own­er, is the Pres­i­dent of the West­ern Col­orado EV Club. Dur­ing his sum­mers off start­ing last year, he has begun dri­ving for rideshar­ing ser­vices Lyft and Uber. Aside from being a great way to make some pock­et change, Ben has enjoyed explor­ing the range of his Tes­la and chat­ting with pas­sen­gers about elec­tric vehicles. 

Charg­ing in New Cas­tle, Colorado
Charg­ing at 750 Main St in Grand Junc­tion Col­orado while dri­ving for Uber

This is the first sum­mer Ben has been rideshare dri­ving full-time. He dri­ves around the Roar­ing Fork Val­ley, Grand Junc­tion, and Glen­wood Springs as these pop­u­lar, touristy loca­tions often hold more pas­sen­gers wait­ing for a ride. Start­ing his day around 8 am and end­ing around din­ner­time, Ben has found an effi­cient sched­ule that max­i­mizes his work time while giv­ing him time to charge his car and rest. Upon leav­ing home with a full charge, Ben plugs in around 10% after dri­ving 200 miles, and charges just enough to get home, pay­ing only about $5-$6 every day. With elec­tric­i­ty cost­ing around 11 cents per kWh from Xcel Ener­gy, Ben saves hun­dreds of dol­lars to “fuel” his car in com­par­i­son to the dri­vers who use gas-pow­ered cars. Putting it into per­spec­tive, he owns a Volk­swa­gen Jet­ta which gets around 30 mpg (bet­ter than many gas-pow­ered cars) and if he were to use this car for rideshare dri­ving, he’d be pay­ing $45 for every 350 miles on top of main­te­nance costs. With more fre­quent dri­ving, this means more oil changes ($80 per 8,000 miles) in addi­tion to more gen­er­al main­te­nance. Time is mon­ey when you’re a rideshare dri­ver and set­ting aside time for rou­tine main­te­nance is one incon­ve­nience that Ben is hap­py to be avoid­ing. The only main­te­nance Ben has done for his Tes­la was to replace its wash­er flu­id and he doesn’t expect any major main­te­nance any­time soon. 

Ben loves rid­ing in his Tes­la, and so do his pas­sen­gers! They’ve com­ment­ed on the mod­ern, sleek inte­ri­or and the qui­et, com­fort­able ride. With fea­tures like pre-sched­uled air con­di­tion­ing, frunk space for lug­gage, a glass sun­roof, and a large nav­i­ga­tion screen that allows his pas­sen­gers to eas­i­ly see their route from the back­seat, it’s no won­der Ben has received the “Cool Car” badge from Uber and Lyft as well as high ratings. 

As the only EV rideshare dri­ver he’s noticed in his area, Ben has not­ed an increase in oth­er EV mod­els in his com­mu­ni­ty, indi­cat­ing EV growth. Two years ago, his car was one of two Tes­las in town, and now there are about eight total. Addi­tion­al­ly, he’s spot­ted the Kia Niro EV, Fiat 500e, Chevy Bolts, the Mus­tang Mach‑E, and the VW ID.4. Even though he lives in a more rur­al area, he’s cred­it­ed the fast charg­ing cor­ri­dor infra­struc­ture imple­ment­ed by the Col­orado Ener­gy Office for pro­vid­ing acces­si­ble charg­ing in small towns. This allows him to dri­ve to areas that may have been inac­ces­si­ble in the past and will hope­ful­ly encour­age oth­er dri­vers in sim­i­lar rur­al areas to adopt an EV. Ben encour­ages oth­ers to try out rideshare dri­ving in an EV — it’s fun, max­i­mizes your earn­ings, and the more peo­ple who get to ride in an EV, the better!

Want to get in touch with Ben? Find him here:

Twit­ter: @jaminwestby

FB: West­ern Col­orado EV Club


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