Uber’s premium electric car service is coming to more U.S. cities, the company said. Uber Comfort Electric, which is more expensive than Uber X but not as fancy 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 electric vehicles, such as Tesla, Polestar and Ford Mustang Mach-E, would be considered eligible for Comfort Electric rides. It will sit alongside the company’s other EV product, Uber Green, which offers drivers an additional fee (usually $1) to use electric vehicles.
Comfort Electric is an extension of Uber Comfort, where passengers can request more legroom, quiet cars and other amenities typically associated with its more expensive Uber Black service. Uber Comfort isn’t as expensive as Uber Black, but riders pay around 20-40% more than a typical Uber X ride.
By adding EVs to the mix, Uber recognizes that many of the new EVs to hit the market in recent years have been in the premium or luxury categories. The company is also working to convince more drivers to switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles. Uber recently announced that 15,000 drivers have pledged to rent Tesla vehicles through its partnership with rental car company Hertz.
But riding in an electric vehicle is a slightly different experience than riding a typical Uber vehicle, like the Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4. For example, some EVs like Tesla have door handles that sit flush with the vehicle body for better aerodynamics, potentially making it difficult for an unknown driver to enter the vehicle.
Some drivers who use Teslas have told Uber that door handles confuse passengers. So now Uber will send a push notification to customers telling them where to push for the handle to extend.