Home Editor's Picks Tesla could partner with one of these companies to meet strong robotaxis demand

Tesla could partner with one of these companies to meet strong robotaxis demand


Jefferies analysts believe Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and other autonomous vehicle (AV) developers may find their most efficient path to market by partnering with established ridesharing companies like Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT).

Their note highlights several key reasons for this conclusion. Jefferies’ survey and analysis of robotaxi unit economics indicates strong consumer demand for robotaxis, particularly at a discount.

They found that 73% of U.S. rideshare users would consider a robotaxi, with price being a major factor.

However, it also finds that partnering with Uber and Lyft offers significant economic advantages. Jefferies estimates gross profit per ride could be 22% higher for a robotaxi fleet that partners with rideshare companies compared to a standalone fleet.

They explain that this is because rideshare companies already have established logistics and pricing expertise, and a robotaxi partnership would allow them to leverage their existing high-utilization fleets.

Insurance costs are another key factor. Jefferies estimates insurance will be the largest expense for robotaxi fleets, and standalone fleets with lower utilization rates would face even higher insurance costs per ride.

Jefferies says that for both Tesla and GM, “a partnership with rideshare providers looks to be the most logical approach.” Tesla’s planned August 8th event is expected to unveil its robotaxi strategy, and Jefferies suggests that its low-cost Tesla Network concept could be most efficient when combined with rideshare for additional capacity.

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