Tesla’s electric vehicles are already in the ridesharing ecosystem. A teenager has spearheaded a startup called to aid in Southern California traveling. With help from his dad and various investors, the process has been streamlined to work perfectly with the drawbacks of EVs, and is expected to continue booming in the coming years.
Back in 2015, Haydn Sonnad was 16 years old and wanted a Tesla. He developed the idea to drive people in the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas over the weekend to pay off the lease of the vehicle. At the time, Haydn went to Agoura High School, which is located in LA. It’s nearly a five-hour drive each way. Haydn’s father, Rahul Sonnad, worked with tech experts to eventually create Tesloop.
The hook was that customers would be able to ride in these luxury vehicles for a very attractive price. As an example, an hour-long trip from Los Angeles to Orange County . The goal is to decrease travel costs to everyone and to limit carbon emissions in the environment. It would also free up some of the heavy traffic that plagues Southern California; a key reason why Elon Musk wants to travel underground.
As an added benefit, passengers would be able to use amenities in the Tesla vehicle, such as Wi-Fi, and the company would add other features like snacks, beverages, and noise-cancelling headphones.
One of the drawbacks of electric vehicles are range, which obviously affects the flexibility of ridesharing. For this reason, Tesloop vehicles will pick passengers up at specific locations and not door-to-door. They’re still able to service many areas in Los Angeles and can drive to Palm Springs, San Diego, and Orange County. According to Mercury News, they can take 12 trips between Los Angeles and Palm Springs each day, and that number goes slightly down for other places.
Since starting up, Tesloop has completed over 3,000 trips. The company currently employs eight people full-time and there are 30 drivers that operate as independent contractors. The driving system is similar to other ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, and drivers have to complete extensive background checks. They also, of course, need to be comfortable driving Teslas.
According to , the vehicle service has had little trouble in delivering their passengers to other Southern California areas. Many praise the drivers for their excellence performance, and there’s only been a handful of issues when it comes to the battery running out during a trip. For the most part, electric vehicles look to be very reliable in the rideshare department.
As for the future for Tesloop, it looks very bright. Modest Money that ridesharing should be able to get past the $6.5 billion mark in annual revenue by 2020. Will the service become obsolete when self-driving vehicles become the norm? Until automation gets a bit clearer, it’s hard to say, but the company plans to continue expanding in the area and aiding passengers with luxury trips on the road.