eCarra: Delivering Tesla Taxi Rides in Texas

eCarra is an "eco-luxe" ride-sharing platform making Tesla taxis accessible in Texas

23.09.2019 | by Kezia Parkins
Photo by Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash
Photo by Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash

In light of the climate crisis, there are many that would love to swap out their fossil fuel-powered vehicle for a Tesla. The problem for most people is the price tag. 

But as people, especially those living within a city, try and reduce their carbon footprint, they are opting out of owning cars and increasing their use of public transport, bicycles, car-sharing and taxi services like Uber.

Tesla Shuttle, a car ride service that operates in some parts of Europe and the UK, offers pre-booked rides in Tesla’s electric vehicles (EV).

There are also numerous taxi services across the globe that have bought Teslas to offer luxury rides to their customers although few offer rides in EVs exclusively.

One company that does is eCarra, a Dallas, Texas-based eco-luxe car service offering taxi rides in Teslas — and apparently the cost isn’t so different from companies delivering rides in fossil fuel vehicles.

With its fleet of about 25 Teslas, eCarra’s operates by the tagline “rides that matter.”

“Some may say that in order to lead an eco-conscious lifestyle, you must forgo all luxury and live modestly,” states cCarra’s website. “But at eCarra, we believe that you can have your sustainability and enjoy it, too. That’s why we created an excessively sustainable eco-luxe car service, providing custom-tailored, zero-emissions experiences in Tesla vehicles.”

The widespread uptake of EVs in the taxi and shuttle space could work to dramatically reduce carbon monoxide pollution worldwide.

cCarra’s marketing message is a simple one: be greener and reduce carbon emissions today,  ride in the best vehicles in the world, and don’t worry, the cost is similar to an Uber.

“This is a win-win-win proposition,” said Zachary Shahan, co-founder of Tesla Shuttle writing for CleanTechnica.

“Despite being premium-class vehicles, the high mileage of this kind of service combined with low electricity/charging costs makes a Tesla competitive with a much lower class gasoline car.”

Dallas Innovates reports that Rock Robinson, eCarra’s CEO and co-founder, was working for Apple in business development, while his partner worked for Uber, when they started to notice a strong demand for premium, clean, luxury rides, especially in the business-to-business space.

“We realized the combustion engine was going to die,” Robinson says. “I was really in-tune with what’s going on in our environment. If it’s all-electric then I’m in.”

The eCarra service comes with an app for booking which also helps users keep track of the carbon emissions saved by opting to ride in an EV.

Additionally, every time someone books a ride eCarra plants a tree — they state that so far they have already planted around 10,000 trees.

The company has also developed an algorithm that factors in electric charging, determining whether a vehicle should take another trip or charge first.

By offering ride-sharing in their Teslas, the company is also providing further opportunities for greener travel.

Shahan says that the hardest thing for companies like eCarra will be to “get the market rolling,”

“People don’t change habits easily, and that goes for transportation and consumer habits as much as anything else.”

Since the company launched in 2017, 97 percent of customers have said this is their first ride in a Tesla so for individual users eCarra’s service provides novelty and experience.

The company’s main target, however is business-to-business travel.

Most of their business so far has come from trips to or from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport — the “last mile” for a business traveller.

“We’ve got some really good traction here,” Robinson says.

“Our goal is to help corporations, one, keep really good people by employee retention with amenities like this, two, help them from a carbon standpoint by helping them lower their footprint and three, give them measurable goals to help them increase those initiatives to save energy and gasoline.”

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