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Air Quality

Published on November 29th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Driving An Electric Uber

November 29th, 2016 by  


uber-app-via-freestocks-org-flickrUber drivers benefit from a vital job that helps many of them to stay above water. Many people are juggling part-time jobs to keep up with bills. Driving for Uber has some of the most valued components for a 2nd or 3rd job. An Uber driver makes all her or his own hours. You can free others from having to driving or owning cars, a worthwhile service to society.

These reasons and more inspired me to become an Uber driver with my electric Nissan LEAF.

  1. One day I started thinking, “What is a primary reason for driving Uber?” Answer: I won’t lose my job if have to take time off unexpectedly or for extended amounts of time. Turning on the Uber App means I am working. Turning it off means I am not. It is very simple. No explanations.
  2. And a second reason? It keeps that extra bill paid.
  3. Third reason? Social interaction with a variety of people. (As a reclusive creative person, sometimes I have my head so deep inwards that I need to get away from my mind and computer.) Driving Uber is a change of pace. It is also a rich source of character study.
  4. Fourth reason? This awareness actually came after I became a driver. It is vital to note: Uber Saves Lives. It is a convenient type of traffic control — a wise choice for people who drink, plan on drinking, or use strong prescription drugs. Lots of people can now easily choose Uber rather than driving out or back from dinner and drinks, or going to and from the doctor.

Uber

After listing a few thoughts on Uber, I thought of more. To be honest, I have a precarious caretaker burnout some days. I thought driving Uber might be a breezy way to mitigate the profound work of caring for people in the health care services business. Health care can be a job that goes home with a person. Driving Uber would certainly not go home with me, and it could help to lighten my day up at times. I also knew it would help take ICE (gasoline and diesel) cars off the road that cause a great deal of air pollution … which means more health problems and premature death.

Yes, I decided perhaps Uber would be a good part-time job for me.

Here are some follow-up comments particular to Uber drivers using all-electric cars:

1. At first, I wondered how anyone buying gas made much money driving Uber — driving on electricity is much cheaper. Now I am sure this is a pretty big deal. A lot of drivers don’t look at full operational costs and compare them to the revenue. If they did, there’d be fewer gas-powered Uber drivers.

Gas drivers do save time, as they don’t have to stop and fuel up for 30 minutes every so often. Time is money.

On the other hand, I find the refueling breaks hardly enough to find a bathroom and a snack. Nissan Leafs charge fast.

20161124_181052

Red is more pay as it is surging activity.

Also, notable, I rarely drive at super surging times of the day when Uber drivers make more money (nighttime, the time when bars are closing, etc.), so perhaps ICE cars target these higher-paying time periods.

2. I found providing ~85% of the passengers with the information that they were riding in an all-electric car was fun for all of us. I love exposing the smooth electric car to everyone. Most of my riders genuinely enjoy the chance to be in an electric car. They are generally interested in riding green. EVs are a nice conversation palate, good energy, and provoke thoughtful conversation. People do care about improving air quality. For sure.

Most people enjoyed the ride and myth-busting EV conversation. It’s a good way to break down barriers to EVs. Once in a while, it seems that they are set on test driving electric cars sometime soon after the ride. There is a mutual sense of happiness motivating someone to give an EV a go — and perhaps actually buy an EV and become an EVangelist.

3. The only slight problem is the range. Around town, I can get up to 120 miles on a full charge. The Nissan Leaf is ideal jaunting someone around the city. If driving for Uber, I obsessively keep my range full — at the top. Still, once in a while, I pick up someone who wants to go a bit too far for my range. They are able to call another Uber quickly and jump in an ICE vehicle.

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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