A few years ago, Valdez looked into this when Uber and Lyft slashed the per-mile rate for drivers in Los Angeles. He was looking for a way to make more money and considered the cost savings EVs might offer. During this research, he found that if he gets a Highlander or similarly-sized six-seater SUV, it will qualify as an “XL” vehicle for which Uber and Lyft will pay him roughly double his per-mileage earnings on qualifying ridehail rides, from about 64 cents a mile to $1.20…
But Valdez already gets that 50 cent green fee on the rides that qualify because he drives a hybrid, which in Uber and Lyft’s accounting are “green” vehicles. So, he would continue to do so if he got a Highlander hybrid.
Incidentally, the green fee may have unintended consequences, Carnegie Mellon professor and director of the Vehicle Electrification Group Jeremy Michalek told Motherboard, such as actually increasing emissions by having the limited number of qualifying vehicles travel further to match with riders.