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Tesla Model 3 - driving on Lyft

Skryll

Member
Mar 12, 2016
988
4,002
San Francisco,CA
I had so much fun driving model 3 that I ended up catching myself driving around an hour before work each day and figured I may make that more productive by signing up with Lyft and bring people where they want to go, which turns out to be a fun hobby that more than offsets my parking and bridge tolls.

I wrote up my experience on MrMichaelWill's Weblog describing how people react to being picked up in Model 3 and how they don't understand the doors without explanation, how they are wowed and what I get out of it. Includes Lyft-referral code in case you want to do the same.

TL;DR and additional info that came out of the discussion with people on facebook and reddit Driving a Tesla Model 3 for Lyft • r/teslamotors :

The doors are the main obstacle to making this supersmooth, but are actually a good starting point to talk about why this car is special. About anybody needed to be explained to push in the wider piece in with your thumb for the door handle to come out. Then they are wowed and love it. When wanting to exit, I have to give instructions again, that little push-button is not obivous. Also when they want to roll up or down their own window, especially in the dark, it is not obvious to anybody who hasnt been in a model 3 before. So you could say that is a design fail from a being intuitive standpoint, but seems to be quickly forgotten as the rest of the car inspires awe in all my riders.

Typical reactions to the Model 3 showing up to their Lyft request
- I must have gotten a silent upgrade, normally its Priuses and such
- wow, just noticed the all glass roof
- this car really has pickup
- this feels more like riding in BART (bay area transport electric rail train), its like gliding
- wow, that screen is bigger than on my mercedes
- thats a beautiful, amazing car
- I have never been in a tesla before
- Is this a demo ?
- Damn, I wish I didnt have to go to class and could ride longer with you, is there a way to request you specifically?

Also they love that there are two usb ports and that I provide a lighting cable for them to charge their iphone. Surprisingly they ask for permission still, seems obvious to me that thats why its there?

A few things I learned from the discussion on facebook and reddit:
- Federal tax incentive of $7500 can only be applied when at least 60% of your use of your Model 3 is personal use. So if you buy it specifically for commercial use, you may not be eligible for the tax credit. Check with your CPA to determine exactly what the situation is. If I was planning to do that I would want a black Model X with 7 seats and ride for both Lyft LUX and Uber LUX. Nonissue for me as I do this casually as a hobby.
- Personal insurance does not officially cover you when doing ride sharing unless you tell your insurance company about it and pay a little extra for being on a ride-share plan.
- Lyft insurance coverage is pretty low when you have the app running but not accepted a ride yet. Once you accept the ride, cioverage goes up from $25k to $1m until drop-off. Some people that did not upgrade their personal insurance buy a gap-insurance to cover the difference.

Other things I learned:
- destination mode is awesome to pick somebody up along the way with minimal detour, and still get paid bridge toll and enough money to pay for half your parking cost.
- Drivers like Lyft better than Uber, but if you do it professionally you probably want both.
- Driving across town to get to surge pricing (chasing the red) is usually not worth it, maybe destination mode can make it less wasteful.
- I really love meeting all those people and play music for them, learning about great songs in the process.

What I would want to improve in a Model 3 V2:
- cooled seats, especially when driving a lot in the heat. AC is great, but the back still gets a little warm over time.
- biohazard filters (elon already said no to that earlier, but I would love to evict Diesel exhaust smell from other cars that came in when I had my window open
- more interior lighting for passengers in the rear, maybe spot-lights onto the door controls
- Air suspension? I guess at that point I should be driving a Model S instead. But I love driving the Model 3 so much, because of its cornering and agility, especially between rides and without passengers.
 

Skryll

Member
Mar 12, 2016
988
4,002
San Francisco,CA
I was thinking about doing the same thing just for fun and to spread the word about the Model 3.

Have you worked out the math on the Lyft earnings vs insurance, electricity, and depreciation?

Not really, just doing this as a hobby. With my casual driving I would get about $20 to $30 / hour of my time, so compared to my real job that is nothing.

So I already know that opportunity cost wise its not worth it to me, and I just do this whenever I feel like it, or in destination mode on the way to work. However I love the experience so far, and it offsets the parking and bridge tolls I would have anyways pretty nicely.

Also it spreads the love of electric driving which in the end also benefits everybody.

Just yesterday I walked across this new shopping centers parking lot where we have the new 19 stall supercharger in concord, and its shocking how soiled with oil spills the non-supercharger parking spots already are. I can't wait for the stink and noise and pollution to all go away in the next 10 years...
 

Trips

"Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next?"
Sep 22, 2015
1,223
1,407
Omaha, NE
I driver Uber/Lyft in Omaha with an ICE about 6-8 hours a week and average about $150 before expenses. I don't think using my $60k Model 3 will be the best financial decision but I do it for fun.

Hopefully Tesla opens up the referral program for Model 3, even if it's a $100 to $250 credit. If that is the case I will have some cards made up to hand out and offer free test drives to those that are interested.
 

Skryll

Member
Mar 12, 2016
988
4,002
San Francisco,CA
I driver Uber/Lyft in Omaha with an ICE about 6-8 hours a week and average about $150 before expenses. I don't think using my $60k Model 3 will be the best financial decision but I do it for fun.

Hopefully Tesla opens up the referral program for Model 3, even if it's a $100 to $250 credit. If that is the case I will have some cards made up to hand out and offer free test drives to those that are interested.

I was also realizing I should have my own business cards with me to hand-out when I end up talking to people from my industry...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Esme Es Mejor
Jan 20, 2017
560
413
San Jose, CA
I had so much fun driving model 3 that I ended up catching myself driving around an hour before work each day and figured I may make that more productive by signing up with Lyft and bring people where they want to go, which turns out to be a fun hobby that more than offsets my parking and bridge tolls.

I wrote up my experience on MrMichaelWill's Weblog describing how people react to being picked up in Model 3 and how they don't understand the doors without explanation, how they are wowed and what I get out of it. Includes Lyft-referral code in case you want to do the same.

TL;DR and additional info that came out of the discussion with people on facebook and reddit Driving a Tesla Model 3 for Lyft • r/teslamotors :

The doors are the main obstacle to making this supersmooth, but are actually a good starting point to talk about why this car is special. About anybody needed to be explained to push in the wider piece in with your thumb for the door handle to come out. Then they are wowed and love it. When wanting to exit, I have to give instructions again, that little push-button is not obivous. Also when they want to roll up or down their own window, especially in the dark, it is not obvious to anybody who hasnt been in a model 3 before. So you could say that is a design fail from a being intuitive standpoint, but seems to be quickly forgotten as the rest of the car inspires awe in all my riders.

Typical reactions to the Model 3 showing up to their Lyft request
- I must have gotten a silent upgrade, normally its Priuses and such
- wow, just noticed the all glass roof
- this car really has pickup
- this feels more like riding in BART (bay area transport electric rail train), its like gliding
- wow, that screen is bigger than on my mercedes
- thats a beautiful, amazing car
- I have never been in a tesla before
- Is this a demo ?
- Damn, I wish I didnt have to go to class and could ride longer with you, is there a way to request you specifically?

Also they love that there are two usb ports and that I provide a lighting cable for them to charge their iphone. Surprisingly they ask for permission still, seems obvious to me that thats why its there?

A few things I learned from the discussion on facebook and reddit:
- Federal tax incentive of $7500 can only be applied when at least 60% of your use of your Model 3 is personal use. So if you buy it specifically for commercial use, you may not be eligible for the tax credit. Check with your CPA to determine exactly what the situation is. If I was planning to do that I would want a black Model X with 7 seats and ride for both Lyft LUX and Uber LUX. Nonissue for me as I do this casually as a hobby.
- Personal insurance does not officially cover you when doing ride sharing unless you tell your insurance company about it and pay a little extra for being on a ride-share plan.
- Lyft insurance coverage is pretty low when you have the app running but not accepted a ride yet. Once you accept the ride, cioverage goes up from $25k to $1m until drop-off. Some people that did not upgrade their personal insurance buy a gap-insurance to cover the difference.

Other things I learned:
- destination mode is awesome to pick somebody up along the way with minimal detour, and still get paid bridge toll and enough money to pay for half your parking cost.
- Drivers like Lyft better than Uber, but if you do it professionally you probably want both.
- Driving across town to get to surge pricing (chasing the red) is usually not worth it, maybe destination mode can make it less wasteful.
- I really love meeting all those people and play music for them, learning about great songs in the process.

What I would want to improve in a Model 3 V2:
- cooled seats, especially when driving a lot in the heat. AC is great, but the back still gets a little warm over time.
- biohazard filters (elon already said no to that earlier, but I would love to evict Diesel exhaust smell from other cars that came in when I had my window open
- more interior lighting for passengers in the rear, maybe spot-lights onto the door controls
- Air suspension? I guess at that point I should be driving a Model S instead. But I love driving the Model 3 so much, because of its cornering and agility, especially between rides and without passengers.
Great summary..
I was doing this too for a while in jan-march in south bay.
Exactly the same learning, issues and reactions. :) A lot of people can't tell whether it's model S and model 3, some that knows model S just expects the handle to pop-out.
Good to know about the federal tax incentive.
Some insurance will let you add extra, but some will simply ask you to get commercial insurance, so check ahead of time with your insurance company.
 
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MartinAustin

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
2,775
12,229
Austin, Texas USA
Awesome stuff!

And in Austin, drivers prefer Ride|Austin over Lyft or Uber.

Ride|Austin only takes a flat $0.99 from each ride (Standard, SUV, Premium and Luxury grades all the same). Drivers get all the rest. Even if there is a surge they only take $0.99. Since they are not taking a % of the ride fee, they have less impetus to surge - and riders pay less too!

I've been driving my Model S around town for rideshares for a couple of years. Been getting the same reactions as you.

Keep up the good work!
 

Skryll

Member
Mar 12, 2016
988
4,002
San Francisco,CA
Is there a minimum that you have to work a week for Lyft? I wouldn't mind doing it for fun when I'm bored.

No minimum. That is exactly how I am doing it.

Feel free to use my driver-referal link ' Become a Driver' to signup and get a small boost in your first 30 (or 60? forgot) days that is shared between the two of us.

It took me 3 days from starting to signup uploading insurance/drivers license/registration through the iphone app and visiting an inspection event to being cleared for driving. The longest part was DMV and background check they do on their end.

At the car inspection event they hand you a small folder with the stickers which you can attach to the car glass from the inside, and the permit to go to the local airports. Instead of sticking them directly to the glass (supposed to also be removable but not as easily) I stuck them to static stickfoil I got from amazon 'https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002J6CO9I' so its really easy to put on when I want to go drive for lyft and take it back off after to keep in my glove compartment.
 

shrspeedblade

Rideshare Monkey
Sep 29, 2015
1,129
4,211
CA, United States
I've been driving Lyft & Uber with my Volt for over two years now, looking forward to doing it with the Model 3. The two biggest factors you need to consider are insurance (make sure you're covered at ALL times) and depreciation on the car- which is a really big hit! It's not for everyone but I really enjoy it and look forward to being a brand ambassador for the Model 3!
 

jkirkwood001

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2018
1,048
3,032
Ottawa, ON
...The doors are the main obstacle to making this super-smooth ... push in the wider piece in with your thumb for the door handle to come out... When wanting to exit, I have to give instructions again, that little push-button is not obvious...

Maybe worth making and tapping signs on the inside of the back door window, and for the inside door button?
 
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gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,606
2,137
Philadelphia, PA
Also they love that there are two usb ports and that I provide a lighting cable for them to charge their iphone. Surprisingly they ask for permission still, seems obvious to me that thats why its there?

Some people, ridiculously, might think it will drain your battery too much. Someone had calculated before on a Model X (I don't recall where I saw it) that a full charge of an iPhone from 0% to 100% amounts to about 15-feet of range.
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,556
TX
Some people, ridiculously, might think it will drain your battery too much. Someone had calculated before on a Model X (I don't recall where I saw it) that a full charge of an iPhone from 0% to 100% amounts to about 15-feet of range.
Mmmm, that smells like its off by an order of magnitude or more? Let's check the work:

Let's take an iPhone 6, which best numbers I've found are 1.8Ah at about 3.8v, so roughly 7Wh. Confirm this is the correct ballpark with this: https://images.apple.com/legal/more-resources/docs/apple-product-information-sheet.pdf

That's an older sheet, they've bumped the batteries from the iPhone 4 days but not immensely because there hasn't been that much change physically.

So let's say 10Wh to make the math easier and to account for maybe the Plus size format of the phone slightly increasing distance estimate. Let's use the Model X 100D's nominal battery size of 100kWh, again for ease of calculation but this time slightly decreasing the distance. Then use 290mi for full range.

So 100,000/10 = 10,000 phones worth in the Model X. 290mi/10,000 phones = 0.029mi/phone.

0.029mi * 5280ft/mi (....Jimmy Carter was right, this is silly :p ) = 153ft

So a larger iPhone will get you about 150ft, an iPhone 6 will get you about 100ft of normal range.

Did I miss something?


EDIT: Of course it still supports the main point "a constant stream of bugs on your windshield is about as meaningful to a Tesla's range as plugging in your phone". Er wait, now that's an interesting idea. Trying to calculate the cumulative drag of driving through swarms of mosquitos at highway speed..... ;)
 
Last edited:

Cheburashka

Active Member
Jan 29, 2018
2,470
3,138
Los Gatos, CA
It's cool, financially it makes a bit of sense with a Prius or Corolla, but it doesn't seem to me that the depreciation hit/mileage/wear and tear is worth it on a car that is $60K.
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,556
TX
It's cool, financially it makes a bit of sense with a Prius or Corolla, but it doesn't seem to me that the depreciation hit/mileage/wear and tear is worth it on a car that is $60K.

Until you realize that if Skryll wasn't doing this he'd be inventing other reasons to drive just as much, like deciding to continuously roll through a circuit tour of all the ice cream shops in the larger Bay Area. So then he's got the depreciation hit AND insulin supply costs. :(
 

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