General Motors continues to push forward into zero emission vehicle sales today with the announcement of a new program to offer special pricing on electric vehicles and charging accessories to Uber drivers.
The new program will extend the General Motors employee discount on the purchase of a new 2020 Chevy Bolt to eligible drivers on the Uber platform in the US and Canada. Uber drivers in the US will also get Bolt EV accessories — like an EV charger — at 20 percent off MSRP. The new promotional push is being complemented by a pilot in Los Angeles, California and Denver, Colorado that will offer special financing through GM Financial.
The renewed push by Uber to incentivize drivers on its platform to convert to low- and zero-emission vehicles highlights the challenge Uber is faced with when attempting to influence its fleet of non-employee drivers around the world. Uber does not directly employ drivers on its platform and thus, cannot directly control or mandate the vehicles they drive. Instead, the company has historically employed a host of incentive tactics, like this deal with General Motors, to offer incentives to drivers to switch to low- and zero-emission vehicles for use on its platform.
“Our collaboration with Uber will facilitate drivers’ switch to an EV, empowering these drivers, their passengers and communities to experience electric vehicles and contribute to cleaner air in our cities,” Sigal Cordeiro, GM executive director of Sales and Marketing for Global Innovation said.
The move is a new channel for General Motors to increase EV sales through and for Uber to earn some green credentials. Ideally, Uber would contribute funding directly to its drivers for driving an electric vehicle, but the new program with General Motors at least feels like one step in the right direction.
“This is a key opportunity to grow Chevrolet’s EV business through a program that matches our expertise and strength with a rideshare platform that brings its own scale and reach,” Steve Majoros, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing said.
The compact Chevrolet Bolt is an efficient, compact, and fun electric vehicle that brings the efficiency and utility of electric vehicles in a compact package. General Motors’ own data indicates rideshare drivers realize significantly lower maintenance compared to petrol-powered vehicles. Indeed, this is one of the many benefits of driving an electric vehicle.
This week’s announcement builds on news in July that GM was partnering with EV charging network operator EVgo to triple the size of its DC fast charging network over the next five years. This morning, General Motors announced a blockbuster strategic partnership with Phoenix-based startup Nikola Motor to bring its vehicles from concept to full scale production, starting with the battery electric Nikola Badger truck.