Evercar is a greener, cheaper ride for Uber drivers

Imagine you’re a person who makes money ferrying passengers for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, or toting around packages for Postmates or Roadie.

Now imagine how much money you spend a month in gasoline, or how much you’ll have to spend in repairs to keep your jalopy up and running, and earning.

You could rent an all-electric Nissan Leaf from Evercar, the Los Angeles-based startup that announced its existence at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday.

Evercar has 12 Leafs (2013 models) used by about 40 ride-sharing drivers in the L.A. area. Drivers pay about $5 per hour for usage of the car, which is a bargain, considering that they pay zero in fuel charges. Evercar picks up the tab for the electricity used by the cars when they charge up.

“We do it not for the environmental benefits,” said Evercar CEO Michael Brylawski (above right) in front of his booth at the Connected Car Expo, the kickoff event for the L.A. Auto Show. “That’s a bonus. It’s just cheaper.”

The Leaf gets up to 84 miles on a single battery charge, which might give drivers-for-hire a case of the ol’ “range anxiety blues.” But Dana Newman (above left) of Vision Fleet Inc., the parent company of Evercar, said the startup’s drivers plug in at one of about 50 NRG eVgo stations in the L.A. area. Electric vehicles don’t have to charge up for hours and hours, until the battery is full, to keep going. Some drivers find a charger between fares, get a 20-minute top-off, and keep going. They use a special card, and Evercar pays the bill.

“That’s part of the onboarding process, helping drivers understand how the cars work,” Newman said. “It’s an education about electric vehicles.”

Vision Fleet works to add alt-fuel vehicles, including all-electrics and plug-in hybrids, to existing fleets. Last year it partnered with the city of Indianapolis to add 425 EVs to the city’s fleet.

That program has helped save 60,000 gallons of gasoline from being used, and Evercar has displaced 2,000 gallons in just three months of operation, Brylawski said.

If you’re a ride-sharing driver and are interested in learning more about Evercar’s vehicles, visit the company’s website: MyEvercar.com.

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