Uber, SMUD paying Sacramento Uber drivers to use electric vehicles
Uber drivers who use electric vehicles (EVs) will be paid $1.50 per mile through a partnership announced on Friday, June 22 by Uber and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Both entities will help fund the incentive to drivers.
The partnership is part of a year-long pilot program announced by Uber this week for seven cities: Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego San Francisco and Seattle. The company has existing pilot programs up and running in Portland and Pittsburgh.
Drivers in some other cities, such as Portland and Seattle, are being paid $1 a mile, but the Sacramento program is more generous because of SMUD's contribution, said Adam Gronis, Uber's Global Head of Sustainability. SMUD is contributing $1.25 per mile to drivers in its territory, while Uber is contributing 25 cents. Uber will pay the full $1.50 for drivers in the Sacramento area outside of SMUD's service boundary.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg joined representatives of SMUD and Uber to celebrate the agreement. Representatives of Plug in America and the UC Davis Institute of Transportation also attended. UC Davis researchers will study the program's effectiveness, and Plug in America will provide promotional materials.
"The idea that Uber drivers are going to make more money by doing the right thing -- that's a winner," said SMUD CEO Arlen Orchard.
Mayor Steinberg said "this partnership is crucial" and noted that Sacramento is fast becoming a hub of EV investment. He cited the $44 million investment coming from Electrify America, the Volkswagen subsidiary, which plans to pay for a fleet of 260 electric cars for short-term rental in Sacramento and an electric shuttle from Sacramento to UC Davis, among other items.