Thoughts on the Model 3 "Uber"?

Thoughts on the Model 3 "Uber"?

Would you use it?
How would you determine who uses it?
Income Potential?

Since Uber is everywhere now, its a passive income.

Agent_86 | 16 août 2017

Not passive since you need to be driving, but much lower cost to own that most Uber select/premium cars and it has more headroom and equal legroom to a model S and 5 series Bimmer. I've talked to several Uber Select drivers as I ride it a lot and the range seems to be in the sweet spot. Once they become readily available, it could become the defacto Uber Select car, the new Towncar.

Coastal Cruiser. | 16 août 2017

I don't understand all your questions but agree with 86. It may be the first Uber car that has a chance of actually allowing the owner/driver to make a living driving for Uber.

mntlvr23 | 17 août 2017

Perhaps Andy meant "Turo", as that would be passive income. Though I am not sure to what degree you can truly choose who uses it. As with AirBnb I believe that you may be able to turn down requests - but you never really know that much about who is renting the car anyway

Damn, recaptcha had been giving me a free pass for the last few weeks - but no more

AJPHL | 17 août 2017

Not right away. Maybe after a couple years of ownership.

Shock | 17 août 2017

Don't even know what the OP is asking.

The model 3 will not qualify for uber select, so it will be uber x like most cars.

hoffmannjames | 17 août 2017

Tesla's ultimate goal is for full self-driving to allow your Model 3 to take people around without you in the car. Thus, your car would be truly earning you passive income then since you could do other stuff at the same time.

I would be ok with using my Model 3 as an "uber" when I am driving it. But right now, I am not comfortable with the idea of the car driving around without me in it. It raises too many questions: Could someone steal my car? Could someone steal something in my car or damage my car? I would need good answers from Tesla to these questions before I would consider it. I also need to experience full-self-driving (FSD) first to make sure it is truly safe.

However, once FSD arrives and I know it works, I would consider using my model 3 for ride-sharing for family and close friends since they are people I trust.

Carl Thompson | 17 août 2017

Here's a post on why you won't make enough money to be worthwhile renting you're self-driving car out (without you) on the Tesla Network (or Uber, or whatever) from this excellent thread that everyone should read:

This conversation about whether or not we'll be able rent out our cars to the Tesla Network or Uber is moot because these companies wouldn't pay us to use them. Why on earth would they? Those companies would save a lot of money by simply buying and using their own self-driving cars rather than dealing with us.

Let's say Uber currently pays its drivers 50% of the cost of the fare. The driver gets half and Uber gets half. (The proportion is probably different in real life but it doesn't matter for this example.) Uber is OK with that arrangement now because currently there needs to be a human in the car to drive their customer where they want to go. A human's time costs money so Uber pays. Uber has to pay its drivers enough to cover their time, enough to cover the cost of electricity (or gas) used and enough to cover that trip's small portion of the car's maintenance costs.

When cars can drive themselves Tesla is suggesting that they (and presumably Uber and other ride sharing companies) would still be willing to pay us for our time as the driver even though we aren't using any of our time and even though we're not driving. But why would they? If Tesla (or Uber) were to simply buy their own car and leave us out of it they would still have to pay for electricity (or gas) and maintenance but they wouldn't have to pay _us_. Instead, they'd have to pay for the car but would very quickly break even. As a bonus they'd also save themselves the hassle of having to deal with potentially flaky humans.

Uber drivers average about $20 per hour. (Less in some areas, more in others.) If Tesla (or Uber) can save $15 per hour by taking the human completely out of the picture (still spending $5 per hour for electricity and maintenance) and if a self-driving car can work 16 hours per day (leaving time for charging, cleaning and maintenance) 30 days per month then Tesla (or Uber) would save $7,200 every month! That savings would pay for a nice Model 3 in just 6 months. After that 6 months to cover the cost of the car it's $7,200 of pure additional profit from each car each and every month.

So why should Tesla (or Uber) pay _us_ for the use of our cars when they can save so much money by buying their own?

To put things more succinctly the scheme Tesla is suggesting put's car owners in the system purely as middle-men. Car owners get paid for doing pretty much nothing. It doesn't make sense unless the amount they pay you is so low it's cheaper for companies to use your car than buy their own. Maybe 1/8 or _less_ than what Uber drivers currently get paid. Renting my car out for $2 an hour wouldn't be close to worth it to me.


Carl Thompson | 17 août 2017

Here's the TL;DR version:

To put things more succinctly the scheme Tesla is suggesting put's car owners in the system purely as middle-men. Car owners get paid for doing pretty much nothing. It doesn't make sense unless the amount they pay you is so low it's cheaper for companies to use your car than buy their own.

carlk | 17 août 2017

Uber is developing its own self driving cars it will not use model 3 for that. Although a couple years ago Travis Kalanick told a Tesla investor that if Tesla could produce 500,000 self driving cars by 2020 he wants to buy them all. Uber started its own work seriously when Elon said no to that. I guess Elon had a better idea of how he wants to do it.

Agent_86 | 17 août 2017

It's not our time we'd be getting paid for at that point, it's our capital. We put up the money to buy the cars and Telsa gets a share for providing the app and network.

carlk | 17 août 2017

Carl Thompson
"It doesn't make sense unless the amount they pay you is so low it's cheaper for companies to use your car than buy their own."

We'll see. The irony is Uber is looking to become a fleet owner to replace owner/driver model while TeslaNet is going to be more like current Uber's owner/operator model. So Uber will be becoming a taxi company and Tesla the new Uber. Although Tesla has said it will provide cars in areas where there are not enough owner/operators.

Either way Uber against Tesla I already can see who will win and who will lose. Uber is dead meat.

andy.connor.e | 17 août 2017

Wow, while i am comparing the Tesla "taxi networking" that Elon said would be available, comparing it to that of the existing Uber. And you're all like it wont be on the uber network.

Didnt realize it was that hard to understand a concept.

In otherwords.... The passive taxi service thats going to be available, that Elon previously has mentioned that in an ideal situation, could offset the cost of the car for the owner, making it that much more affordable.

andy.connor.e | 17 août 2017

And to elaborate off that, my questions are me asking you quite literally, what are your thoughts?

Are there any existing concerns you can think of, like what kind of risks do you consider.
Share your ideas and/or opinions on the matter. As if we are here to discuss all of the possible outcomes, and share everyones different point of views on the matter. (the point of the forums?)

Coastal Cruiser. | 17 août 2017

Carl Thompson said: "...Let's say Uber currently pays its drivers 50% of the cost of the fare...

The current split with the driver is more like 60-75%, but that does not invalidate anything you said.



TeslaNet + SkyNet = ?

jordanrichard | 17 août 2017

I can speak from experience because since last Dec. off and on, I have done Uber with my MS. So first let me correct some mis-information that has been menetioned.

One, I don't know what Uber Select is. Perhaps it is a CA thing. There is Uber X (any 4 door/5 passenger car), Uber XL (5 or more people), Uber Premium (large luxury car) and Uber Black (large black cars, professionally drivers)

My MS qualifies for Uber Premium. Meaning if one requests a Premium car, meaning they won't have a Prius show up, I get those requests in addition to any normal Uber X requests.

As a driver, I get 75% of the fare costs, plus tips if the person is so inclined to do so.

How much one makes all depends on where they are and when they chose to drive. For me, I enjoy driving and seeing new places, even if it's within my own state. So why not get paid to do what you like to do. BTW, to give you some real numbers and difference in cost between Uber X and Uber Premium. I am in the Hartford CT area and twice so far I have had request to drive people to Brooklyn NY. For the Uber X trip, I made $135. Uber Premium trip $311. Instead of sitting at home, falling asleep in front of the TV, I do this Uber thing when I feel like it and I am averaging about $1,000 a month.

Also something to consider if you wanted to do Uber, be it with an S/X/ or M3. As a driver you do not know where the rider wants to go, when you get the request. Once the rider gets in your car and you tap "Start Trip" on the Uber app, only then do you know where you are going.

hoffmannjames | 17 août 2017

Ultimately, I think we need to wait and see the details on the Tesla Network in order to judge on its merits. We have to assume that Tesla has thought it through and believe they have a solid business plan or they would not be doing it in the first place. It will be interesting to see the details.

@Carl Thompson You make good points. I agree that Tesla could "cut out the middle man" and just have their own ride sharing service using their FSD Model 3s. But it makes sense if we remember that Tesla's main goal is to sell a product with the primary purpose of providing the customer with a mode of transportation. The ride sharing is a secondary purpose.

Coastal Cruiser. | 17 août 2017

jordanrichard: "I can speak from experience because since last Dec. off and on, I have done Uber with my MS. So first let me correct some mis-information that has been menetioned."

jordon, what mis-information are you correcting?

Tâm | 17 août 2017

@Carl Thompson

I think Uber uses a different business model than Tesla's.

Uber's goal is to compete with its current employees/partners/drivers so it makes sense for them to fire them all and use their own Autonomous Vehicles.

That would eliminate competition from its own drivers.

Tesla wants to work with its drivers/owners to promote the most use of their sustainable product. The advantage is it does not have to pay for the investment of owning cars.

It's similar to how solar panels are treated.

In Europe, the utilities encourage people to get them and give them PROFIT for doing so. Even when utilities pay them for generated electricity, they still make profit because the shift the burden of generator ownership to people.

In the US, utilities in general are hostile to homeowners who want to own solar panels because they are viewed as competitors and brand them as parasites, free loaders for hooking their system to the grid. In friendly states, you can't hardly earn any profits because the utilities make sure you size your solar so that you won't make a profit.

jordanrichard | 17 août 2017

CC, I worded it that way just to be real general. Meaning, amongst the remarks about Uber, there was a clear misunderstanding on how Uber works, from the driver's perspective, that's all. I wasn't inferring that someone was purposely giving out FUD. Many people don't know how Uber really works and just cite what they hear. Just as many of the riders I have had think EV owners have to leave their homes to got to these special chargers in order to charge up. So just as I educate these riders about EV charging, I thought I would lend some real world experience on the subject of Uber.

carlk | 17 août 2017


Uber has no choice but to own its FSD fleet since no one else would do it for them. Although the FSD fleet will coexist with the owner/driver fleet for a while in the beginning. Eventually Uber will want to "fire" all owner/operators since there is such a huge difference in cost structures. Tesla has the advantage of it's selling the car as well as owning the network. Tesla could make money from both operations so it does not care as much if cars are owned by the company or by individual owners. From its statement it seems company owned fleet is only to be used to supplement individual owned ones when necessary.

Another point that you touched but was missed by many is why Elon is so relentless in developing self driving cars and TeslaNet. It's because he could not replace all ICE cars on the road but he could replace a lot more of them if each of his cars is shared by many. That's also the reason why he wants to make self driving smart electric bus.

Frank99 | 17 août 2017

>>> The advantage is it does not have to pay for the investment of owning cars.

But that's Carl T's point, way above. With a payback period of six months, there ISN'T an issue with the capital investment needed by Tesla.

Coastal Cruiser. | 17 août 2017


Carl Thompson | 17 août 2017

"It's not our time we'd be getting paid for at that point, it's our capital. We put up the money to buy the cars and Telsa gets a share for providing the app and network."

If you do the math a company breaks even buying their own car vs. paying you Uber prices to use yours in well under a year. Paying you over the lifetime of a car would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars extra. They'll find the capital to buy a car in order to save that kind of money.


Carl Thompson | 17 août 2017

I don't disagree with everyone who says that Tesla wants to help its buyers get the most of its cars. But that will not extend so far as to make bad business decisions that cost the company millions of dollars.

Tesla _could_ create an Uber competitor and pay you the same amount of money to use your self-driving car without you in it as Uber would pay its drivers. But Tesla wouldn't be able to compete with companies that buy their own self-driving cars and skip paying that much money to a 3rd party owner.

A previous power said Uber drivers make 75% of the fare collected. So a competitor that uses a paid-for self-driving car could charge you 1/4 the fare and still make the same profit. So if you're a customer looking for a ride would you choose the Tesla Network that wants to charge you $40 for a trip or a competitor that would charge you $10 for the same trip?

That's why the Tesla Network simply cannot work the way people are expecting. It simply is not a viable business model.


Coastal Cruiser. | 17 août 2017

Keep in mind too that the current Uber business model does not work either (Uber loses money, and a FULL time driver, driving a legal number of hours per day, does not earn a livable wage AFTER expenses). So new models will likely not be built on the Uber model.

jordanrichard | 17 août 2017

Well, there are far, far too many unanswered questions to even speculate on costs. For say Uber to have it's own fleet of self driving cars, they have to buy them and insure them. Where as for Tesla it is the M3 owner that bought the car and insures it. Tesla has no expense other than the severs to run the network.

Shock | 17 août 2017

I started doing Uber a couple days ago. Just for the heck of it. Sometimes I like to drive around or I start pacing the house and I want to get out like a dog in a cage. For that it's great. I've run the numbers. I believe that if I can get into a fairly high density area I won't make more than $12-20 hour NET So it's honestly not terrible--that's after taxes. However, it's very, very easy to make a great deal less than that if you look at money per hour. I was out today at lunch and made $6 in an hour. But I also like to drive around at lunch anyway, so that was $6 more than I normally make.

As for tesla, i don't see them legally being able to preclude use of FSD on ridesharing and if they can, it just takes another manufacturer to allow it and they can watch their sales decline.

Also, self driving will still be [marginally] profitable for a car owner. They are not selling their time, but their assets as mentioned above. I live far from the city. Yesterday I picked up a guy 9 minutes even further out. A fleet of self driving cars would never operate in this area for the same reason cabs never do. Yet if I had a self driving car this guy is only 9 minutes from it instead of waiting 20+ for a ride from town. That's why you'll still get very tiny amounts of money from this sort of scheme.

It's all a race to the bottom, though. You'll never make enough to cover the payments on the car else tesla would just buy an extra car for their own fleet.

carlk | 17 août 2017

Don't forget TeslaNet is not only for sharing cars for profit but also for family or friends to share so they could buy less cars. Companies and organizations could purchase a fleet for internal use too. Individuals also could start small franchise business by purchasing a small fleet. People will find ways to utilize it when they are giving tool.

I do realize it's an OT since the op only meant for owner driven Uber cars.

jordanrichard | 17 août 2017

Shock, I don't think anyone said that one would make dollar for dollar the equivalency of a car payment. Sure Elon said using the Tesla Network you could have your car pay for itself, but he was talking in generalities.

However as I said above, I can easily make $1,000 in a month. Think about it. Ultimately with self charging, your car could be working for you through out the night while you sleep.

Shock | 17 août 2017

"If you do the math a company breaks even buying their own car vs. paying you Uber prices to use yours in well under a year."

Absolutely. But this is why they wouldn't pay that. Get people to agree that when they go to bed their car will drive around by itself and make barely above operating cost and many will still do it because they're asleep, so what does it matter?

BTW currently in my area Uber collects about 40% of the fare, with the rest to the driver. It varies a bit based on trip. A small bit of that fare is to a black car fund and some TNC assessment fee.

Tesla will never, ever pay uber prices we agree there. If they would, even more people would sign up for it, which alone would depress market prices on that.

I can see the lines blurring over time. Start with owners' cars and then over time owners end up lending their vehicles out more and more to the point where it hardly even matters who has it titled anymore.

jordanrichard | 17 août 2017

Shock, where are you? Do you do Uber?

hoffmannjames | 17 août 2017

Carl Thompson wrote:
"That's why the Tesla Network simply cannot work the way people are expecting. It simply is not a viable business model."

The way I imagine the Tesla Network working is that the person wanting a ride would pay Tesla (probably via the Tesla app) each time they get into the car and then Tesla would pay a % commission to the owner of the car. Tesla already makes a profit from selling the cars in the first place. The ride sharing itself does not add any cost to Tesla so Tesla's commissions on each trip is profitable. The owner is the only one who might lose money if the cost of charging the car outweighs the revenue they receive from the ride sharing. But for Tesla, it would be a win-win as far as I can see. Remember that Tesla does not need to build a business model around ride sharing alone like Uber. Tesla already has a successful business model from selling cars, the ride sharing is just extra. Uber is failing because their entire revenue stream comes only from ride sharing. Tesla has other revenue streams that can make up for any short fall from ride sharing.

Coastal Cruiser. | 17 août 2017

The legal considerations will likely have an impact as to who wants to own the car as well. If there is an accident (or other actionable incidence) and you get a Johnny Cochran type on your tail (he sued the fertilizer company the Oklahoma City bomb was made from), then all hell will break loose.

carlk | 17 août 2017

"Tesla will never, ever pay uber prices we agree there. "

Tesla will not pay you anything at all. Money come from users who hail the service provided by you with mutually agreed upon price. Tesla is merely to provide people the service like Airbnb and to collect a small fee.

Frank99 | 17 août 2017

I think that Carl T has the essence correct, in the long term.
In the short term, I can see the Tesla Network operating using customer-owned cars as they experiment with pricing, availability, etc., working to create a viable operational model. This way they can do it with no capex at all, and if they make a mistake (say, overprice the service in an area), they don't take the loss - the owners do. Once they have a viable model, I expect them to start buying and deploying company-owned cars, which will likely displace most customer-owned cars over the next several years.

andy.connor.e | 17 août 2017

Its disappointing when people start arguing about the uber services. Instead of whether or not they would use the Tesla Ride Share, how they would, when they would use it, what circumstances they would not use it, and such. Everythings an argument.

eeb9 | 17 août 2017

On whether/in what circumstances I'd use the Tesla Net to share my car?

Nope. Not happening. I would not want random strangers using my car when I'm not, at least until the first wave of lawsuits is well-settled... they're *going* to happen. I want someone *else* to pay the legal fees and deal with dueling insurance companies...

Not to mention that "They won't care" about my interior (who bothers to look at the instruments in a taxi, anyway?) which means that even if they don't puke on the way home from the bar at 0200, they're more likely to have their feet on the seats, spill mustard (or their beer) on the carpet...


I retain sole rights to the ability to screw up the interior of my car.

Not to mention that if someone is "getting busy" in my backseat, it had *better* be me! ;-)

andy.connor.e | 17 août 2017

good points.

I'd love to do it, but i wouldnt be able to handle someone screwing up my interior, or perhaps causing something i would have to clean up. But at the same time, even just like 4 or 5 rides, enough to bring in $100 per month, that would lower my monthly payments by 20%. The potential income is hard to justify against the risks.

Carl Thompson | 17 août 2017

"But at the same time, even just like 4 or 5 rides, enough to bring in $100 per month, that would lower my monthly payments by 20%."

I don't think $100 would lower your payment 20% unless you get no options and / or put down a huge down payment. Car payments with a few thousand down are going to be between $600 and $900 even at 72 months and 2% interest after accounting for fees and taxes.


andy.connor.e | 17 août 2017

My estimated payment value is irrelevant. Understand the concept.

carlk | 17 août 2017

You don't need to put your brand new car on the net for people to share. However in 3 or 4 years instead of selling the car for $20K to trade for a new one you could put the car on the net 100% and use the money to finance a new car. And continue to do so every 3~4 years to have free new cars forever. Sounds like a great deal although the devil is always in the details. We'll see how this develops.

andy.connor.e | 17 août 2017

I definitely plan on keeping this car for more than 4 years. Interesting point though. As long as there is that much demand for a taxi

ReD eXiLe ms us | 18 août 2017

I expect that Tesla would charge less than Uber on a per fare/per destination/per distance basis, and that a much higher percentage of the fare would go to the owner of the car than either Uber or Lyft allow. Those who believe this 'just won't work' are yet again deluding themselves with Anti-Tesla Flav-O-Rite, spiked with a generous helping of HaterAde. Yet another excuse to peddle pessimism as so-called 'realism'.

SamO | 20 août 2017

Tesla Network will start like this:

1. Tesla employees will be allowed to Beta test the Network among other employees.

2. Owners will be offered access to the Tesla Network.

3. Production constraints and monetary constraints will prevent Tesla from simply producing sufficient vehicles to populate the Tesla Network for many years.

4. Owners and their family will be able to participate
In the Tesla Network.

5. Owners will be able to invite friends to participate and use the Tesla Network.

6. Eventually, like Facebook, the public will be invited to join the Tesla Network.

Everyone worried about how strangers will treat their car will be please to know that the camera that faces the interior of the car will monitor the condition of the vehicle and the conduct of the riders.

Tesla will keep 20-25% of the fare.

Cars that don't depend on gasoline nor human drivers will have a theoretical cost at least 50% less than an Uber or Lyft.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 20 août 2017

SamO: +42! Correct. Plus, Uber & Lyft will be raising their prices to pay for the development costs of their own self driving services, which won't be available until 2022 or later -- using cars that still burn gasoline -- and still attempting to be increasingly profitable on a per-quarter basis. But it won't work, because people will be perfectly comfortable using the Tesla Transportation as a Service Network instead. Oops.

jordanrichard | 20 août 2017

SamO and ReD eXiLe ms us +1.

carlk | 20 août 2017

SamO Totally agree. And the last sentence is the key.

SpeedyEddy | 20 août 2017

Say you get into the network, would you mind what tesla will bring you to your next destination? Maybe your own car is available, but it could as well be so that (following algorithms calling the nearest car, or best car available with desired options..) you never see your own car again, because (being part of the network) the fees for Tesla include maintenance, cleaning, charging. What does that thought do to your decision to buy other options, except for (obligatory) AP and FSD? Long range will give you longer rides, but is that necessary for the network. What do premium/colour/wheels/performance bring you when you seldomly will drive your own car. Is a (supposed) higher fee for your car's gonna pay out?

I think we will be investors indeed (nothing wrong with that) so think about options as if you were planning to be a fleet owner, in a few years. A high performance car will bring you more per mile/km, but will be rented less.
For the time being, you'd better take AP and maybe FSD when(/if) it will be tolerated by law later on. After the latter throw a goodbye party for your car and get used to driving a different car every ride! (And enjoy riding for free!)

Only question: How to sustain availability of cars: Would you ever (have to) buy a car again? Who is responsible for (or lured into) replacing?

SpeedyEddy | 20 août 2017

what Tesla= Which Tesla (in the first sentence)

ReD eXiLe ms us | 20 août 2017


1) Nope.
2) Maybe.
3) If you want.
4) Those who want to.