Smartcar and Uber Partner to Accelerate the Transition to Electric by Removing Range Anxiety for Drivers

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smartcar, the leading developer platform for mobility businesses, today announced a partnership with Uber Technologies to make it easier for electric vehicle (EV) drivers on the app to take on trips without any range anxiety. With Smartcar’s API, Uber can seamlessly integrate EV battery level data into its Driver app, enabling eligible EV drivers to ensure that they’re only assigned rides within their remaining battery range.

This feature aims to create a comfortable and convenient experience for both drivers and riders using EVs on the Uber app. At launch, the feature will be available to drivers of select makes and models, with plans to expand.

Making EVs Rideshare-Friendly
A survey of drivers using the Uber platform found charging anxiety was a key barrier to drivers choosing to lease or purchase an electric vehicle. Range anxiety could prompt drivers to not accept otherwise attractive trips, or prompt them to charge more often than needed. This led Uber’s teams to develop the Battery-Aware Matching feature which Smartcar’s connected car platform is helping power.

“We’re excited about the early feedback from drivers,” said Michael Alexander, Uber’s Head of Sustainability Product. “Drivers who’ve used Battery-Aware Matching during initial testing tell us they’re less likely to run out of battery and less likely to cancel rides because they’re too long.”

Meanwhile, 40% of U.S. Uber users who ride in an EV say it's their first time in one, further strengthening the platform's position as a key influencer of transportation decarbonization. A frustrating experience on an EV trip could deter these passengers from choosing greener ride options in the future. This feature is an essential step in promoting both driver and rider satisfaction as Uber aims to transition all drivers to zero-emission vehicles.

Automatic EV Range Checks, Better Ride-Matching
With Smartcar, Uber can access an EV's battery level without any aftermarket hardware such as OBD-II dongles. The app can automatically get instant visibility into an EV’s estimated remaining range and filter out trips that exceed this distance.

Smartcar and Uber are both committed to protecting the privacy of drivers and vehicle data. To access this feature, drivers must first enable the option to share their vehicle data with Uber within the Uber app.

Drivers only need to connect their cars once to access this feature for all future rides. They can then smoothly connect their car via Smartcar’s onboarding flow in just a few clicks. This onboarding flow, Smartcar Connect, ensures that drivers are only sharing necessary data permissions with Uber.

Building a Future of Zero-Emission Ridesharing
This partnership is a step toward making EV transportation more accessible and convenient for everyone. Uber aims to be a zero-emission platform in U.S. and Canadian cities by 2030, with goals to be completely carbon-free by 2040 globally. Helping drivers go electric is at the heart of Uber’s strategy, and the company is devoting $800 million in resources to support drivers in making the switch.

“Electric vehicles are the future of ride-sharing and we are proud to partner with Uber to help make this transition a reality. This collaboration will play a key role in making it easier for Uber drivers to make the switch to an electric vehicle without having to worry about range anxiety,” says Sahas Katta, CEO and Co-founder at Smartcar.

With Smartcar-powered visibility into EV battery ranges, Uber can continue to support drivers with tools and resources that enhance the EV driver experience on the platform. The aim is that this new feature will help to reduce range anxiety for EV drivers and make the platform more attractive to riders who are looking for sustainable transportation options.

About Smartcar
Founded in 2015, Smartcar is the leading developer platform for mobility businesses. From auto insurance and car sharing to EV charging and fleet management, businesses across the mobility industry use Smartcar’s APIs to integrate their apps and services with vehicles. By making it easy to connect to their customers’ cars, Smartcar enables companies to build the future of mobility. Smartcar has raised $36M to date and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Energize Capital.

About Uber
Uber's mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 42 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities.

Media Contact
Matt Greenfield
Uproar PR for Smartcar