Tesla Model Y units are joining Uber’s premium fleet in Japan’s taxi market.
Uber will operate as a hired taxi service to comply with Japan’s laws. The ride-sharing service has teamed up with local taxi company Hinomaru Kotsu. Based on local media reports, Uber will be offering rides on Tesla Model Y units. About 30 Model Y units will be joining Uber’s fleet in Japan. Uber and Hinomaru Kotsu plan to expand the fleet to 100 Model Y units by mid-2024.
Customers may choose to ride a Tesla Uber by selecting the “Premium EV” category. Riding a Tesla Uber would cost about 20% higher than local taxi prices. Tesla Uber rides will be limited to the following areas in Tokyo: Chiyoda Ward, Chou Ward, Minato Ward, Shinjuku Ward, and the Shibuya Ward. The Teslas will be able to take passengers to popular tourist spots, shopping centers, and restaurants in the areas previously mentioned. In the future, Uber aims to expand the Tesla fleet’s service areas in Tokyo.
According to Nikkei, Uber hopes to take advantage of the opportunities from the Japanese government’s decision to lift its ban on ride-sharing services in some regions. As of this writing, ride-sharing is prohibited in Japan under the road transportation law. Teslarati previously reported on Tesla joining Uber’s premium fleet in July. At the time, the Japanese government was still deciding whether or not it would lift the ban on ride-sharing services.
The ride-sharing ban will be partly lifted by April 2024 on the condition that taxi companies run the service for limited hours and in limited areas. Furthermore, the government will only allow ride-sharing services in places with a short supply of taxi drivers, like tourist destinations and urban areas. The Japanese government plans to use a taxi-hailing app to assess if an area needs tax drivers.