Uber, BYD Sign Deal To Test EV Fleet In Chicago

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
uber byd sign deal to test ev fleet in chicago

Chicago Uber customers are the first to take a ride in a Chinese-made EV, thanks to a deal between BYD and the transportation network company.

Reuters reports the deal involves a test fleet of 25 BYD e6 EVs made available through Chicago-based Green Wheels USA, a concern that sells EVs and hybrids as well as charging stations. UberX drivers can lease from the fleet — which could expand to around 200 by year’s end — for $200/week, allowing them to drive the e6 during their shift before returning the vehicle to Green Wheels for recharging; lease-to-own and traditional leasing programs are also available.

The e6 program, part of the TNC’s overall financing program meant to put drivers into new or used vehicles through purchases or lease agreements, could help pave the way for BYD to bring all of its offerings to the U.S. market. So far, the automaker has only brought over electric buses and a limited number of e6s, the latter for pilot programs.

As for why the two companies teamed up, none would comment on the deal, which could expand to cover more cities should Chicago’s test run prove to be viable.

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4 of 19 comments
  • Otter Otter on Mar 16, 2015

    I was baffled to see one of these in my neighborhood the other day.

  • Johnnyangel Johnnyangel on Mar 16, 2015

    Every story I can find on this deal seems to stem from the one Reuters piece, which leaves some significant questions unanswered. It would be great to see some further reporting on whether the BYD products have been crash-tested here and are certified to meet U.S. safety standards. If not, why not? Are all the vehicles in this deal instead "test" vehicles that will be exported after a year or crushed? The Green Wheels people are also offering a 2013-model BYD E6 for sale (with 100 miles on it). How is all this legal?

  • I saw one of these in traffic this weekend in Downtown LA. BYD's US headquarters are located in LA. I've passed by a number of times and it'd be easy to confuse it for a Daewoo dealer circa 2003.

  • Shadow mozes Shadow mozes on Mar 17, 2015

    BYD = Build Your Disaster. Uber is a joke.