Uber To Purchase 100 Tesla Model Y Units to Use in Tokyo
Tesla’s vehicles have been highly coveted by auto rental and ride-hailing companies the past few years, with Hertz initiating a purchase of 100,000 Model 3 units in 2020 to mark the largest order yet. Now, ride-hailing company Uber has expanded its partnership with Tesla by purchasing 100 Model Y units for use in Japan, the first deal of its kind to happen outside North America and Europe.
Above: A Tesla Model Y (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
In a new program for the company, Uber has announced plans to buy 100 Tesla Model Y units, set to be deployed in Tokyo, Japan, as electrek reports. The program will oversee the vehicles being used as a part of Uber’s “Uber Premium” offerings, and the purchase is being overseen in partnership with Tesla Japan and taxi company Hinomaru Kotsu.
“I am very pleased to be able to work with Hinomaru Kotsu and Tesla Japan to promote zero-emission vehicles,” Uber executive Shiro Yamanaka said. “Uber Premium is a service that allows you to easily and reasonably call a luxury vehicle using the Uber app in the deployment area. We expect that the demand for Uber Premium will increase further with the introduction of the Tesla Model Y, which is popular as a luxury vehicle, as a dedicated vehicle.”
Tesla plans to deliver the first 30 Model Y units as soon as November, and the vehicles will be located at the Hinomaru Kotsu offices when not in use. The remainder of the Model Y units are expected to be delivered by the end of next year, and the deal is thought to be a crucial and strategic move in boosting Tesla’s presence in the Japanese auto market.
Not unlike Tesla’s deal with Hertz, this purchase is likely intended to get people into the automaker’s vehicles and to hopefully woo new buyers into purchasing the company’s vehicles. In Japan, many people prefer purchasing domestic brands, and some companies like Toyota have been outspoken about developing hydrogen fuel cell technology as an alternative to battery-electric vehicles.
“We are also focusing on the taxi and hire business, mainly in North America, and we are very pleased to be able to realize an initiative of 100 units in Japan as well,” Tesla Japan’s country manager Ryokusai Inoue said. “We believe that business owners will also benefit greatly from this, and we will continue to have everyone experience the appeal of Tesla and expand it widely throughout Japan, regardless of whether it is a corporation or an individual.”