Uber is gearing up to enter the taxi market in Japan by partnering with Tesla. According to a recent Nikkei report, Uber plans to roll out an initial fleet of 30 Tesla Model Y vehicles in Japan next year, increasing to 100 EVs by 2024.
The electric ridesharing service will debut in April 2024, taking advantage of Japan’s recent decision to open up parts of the country to ridesharing. With a severe shortage of taxi drivers plaguing Japan’s aging population, the government is easing restrictions on new transportation options as tourism rebounds post-pandemic.
Uber aims to capitalize on this opportunity by offering premium EV rides. Fares will be around 20% higher than regular taxis in Japan. Uber is betting that the cutting-edge Tesla vehicles, plus convenient app-based booking, will attract customers willing to pay more for luxury and tech-forward experience.
The Model Y’s blend of roominess and efficiency makes it well suited for the ridesharing application. Tesla’s advanced driver assist features also align with Uber’s eventual goal of deploying autonomous vehicles.
For Uber, the Japan taxi launch represents a creative way to enter a market that has strictly regulated ridesharing. By utilizing Tesla’s revered brand and emissions-free vehicles, Uber aims to change perceptions and ease its way into Japan’s transportation sector.
The EV taxi trial will begin small, but marks a big first step. If successful, Uber’s Tesla ridesharing service could expand to other Japanese cities and potentially inspire a wider adoption of zero-emission mobility across the country. Tesla and Uber both stand to gain from this high-profile partnership.