Community impact: meet Mary, an Uber Portland Electric Vehicle ambassador

April 19, 2018 / Oregon

Getting a “green” car was the last thing on Mary’s mind. She was a busy mom on the go, often shuttling her kids around town or packing up the minivan for family vacations. When her car was nearing the end of its life, Mary considered simply buying the same car in a newer model—a practical choice. But when she saw the price tag, she felt major sticker shock.

“If we’re going to spend that kind of money, we might as well get a luxury car,” she and her husband decided.

On a whim, Mary scheduled an appointment to test drive an electric car. She hadn’t been in the market for one—or even a hybrid. But as a former chemical engineer, she was good with numbers. When she started crunching them—adding up savings per mile on gas, tax credits, zero maintenance costs, and the longer life of the car itself, it just made sense.

When Mary got behind the wheel of the car, she was sold. It was not only quiet and smooth, but quick to accelerate. She made up her mind to get the car, but also decided she was going to have the car work for her. That’s where Uber came in.

Mary decided to drive with Uber so her family wouldn’t have to feel the brunt of new car payments. It was a win-win—flexibility to work around her kids’ schedules while making some extra cash.

When we reached out to Mary about joining our first-ever Electric Vehicle (EV) Ambassador program, she was all in. She didn’t start out worrying about carbon emissions, but she became an EV convert because it made sense for her bottom line. The environmental benefits were icing on the cake.

Now when Mary picks up riders in her electric car, she says it’s rare if they don’t spend the whole trip talking about the benefits of EV. “The car sells itself,” she laughs. We hope more people get on board with Mary’s perspective!    

In 2018, the Uber NW Community Impact Initiative has donated over $600,000 in financial assistance and rides to 45+ nonprofits across the region. For more information, visit