Starting this month, the Uber Service in Dubai will begin to offer the new Tesla Model S or Model X to bring passengers to their destination. This comes as Uber entered into a partnership with Dubai Taxi Corporation to become the company’s exclusive ride-hailing partner for its fleet of luxury electric vehicles.
Earlier this year, Tesla inked a deal to deliver 200 units of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV – all ‘fully self-driving-capability’ to Dubai Taxi. The taxi company took delivery of 50 of these Tesla vehicles in September and is now readying them for public use. To this regard, Dubai Taxi entered into a partnership with Uber, which will deploy these 50 new Tesla vehicles under UberONE service in Dubai.
This means that riders across Dubai now have the chance to request a Tesla Model S or Model X from their smartphones. The service could be accessed just by downloading the Uber app and selecting the UberOne option.
Chris Free, General Manager for Uber UAE, remarked that the ride-hailing company is excited to be the exclusive partner for Dubai taxi’s fleet of premium electric vehicles. As for how much a rider would pay to avail of the service, no worries as UberOne is similarly priced to UberBlack. Riding a Tesla vehicle through Uber will carry a base fare of AED10 ($2.72) and with a charge of AED1.9 ($0.52) per kilometer.
Dubai Taxi will take delivery of the second batch of Tesla Model S and Model X units (75 units) in 2018. The taxi company will take delivery of the remaining Tesla electric vehicles (75 units) in 2019. In line with the new emission-free service, the needed infrastructure -- including 13 electric recharging stations – is being built. The introduction of EVs into Dubai Taxi’s fleet is part of Dubai’s Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy that aims to transform 25 percent of the city’s traffic into autonomous journeys by 2030. It also aims to make Dubai the smartest city in mobility worldwide by the end of the decade.
This isn't the first time that Uber deployed electric vehicles in its ride-hailing fleets. The company has a number of EV drivers in other parts of the world. For instance, Uber has a program in Oregon in which its EV drivers are urged to educate passengers about EVs. Uber announced earlier this year a plan to help its 40,000 drivers in London to switch to EVs.