Uber’s premium electric car service is arriving in more US cities, the company said. Uber Comfort Electric, which is more expensive than Uber X but not as posh as Uber Black, is now available in seven additional cities, including Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Austin, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
In May, Uber launched Comfort Electric in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Dubai. Only premium EVs, like Tesla, Polestar, and Ford Mustang Mach-E, would be considered eligible for Comfort Electric trips. It will sit alongside the company’s other EV product, Uber Green, which gives drivers an extra fee (usually $1) to use electric vehicles.
Comfort Electric is an extension of Uber Comfort, in which riders could request extra legroom, quiet cars, and other amenities that are typically associated with its higher-priced Uber Black service. Uber Comfort is not as pricy as Uber Black, but riders pay around 20 to 40 percent more than a typical Uber X trip.
By adding electric vehicles to the mix, Uber is acknowledging that many of the new EVs coming on to the market in recent years have been in the premium or luxury categories. The company is also working to convince more of its drivers to make the switch from gas-powered vehicles to EVs. Uber recently announced that 15,000 drivers have signed on to rent Tesla vehicles through its partnership with car rental company Hertz.
But riding in an EV is a slightly different experience from the typical Uber vehicle, like the Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4. For example, some EVs like Tesla have door handles that are flush with the body of the vehicle for improved aerodynamics — potentially complicating an unfamiliar rider’s entry into the vehicle.
Some drivers who use Teslas have told Uber that the door handles are confusing riders. So now Uber will send a push notification to customers telling them where to push to make the handle extend.