Uber wants every car on the app in London to be fully electric by 2025 – and, from early 2019, will add a 15p per mile ‘clean air fee’ onto every ride to pay for it.
The fee will add 45p to the average Uber ride in London, estimates the firm.
Cash raised will help Uber drivers switch into fully electric cars, as part of the new Uber Clean Air Plan announced today.
Uber will base how much drivers get to upgrade on the hours they’ve worked on the app. A driver working 40 hours per week today could get £3,000 of EV upgrade support in two years’ time.
This would rise to £4,500 in three years.
Uber bosses say the clean air fee could raise £200 million in the next few years – and expects the first 20,000 drivers to have switched into electric vehicles by the end of 2021.
Electric vehicle charging will also be facilitated by an Uber-led partnership between home charging suppliers, and another collaboration with ChargePoint to install rapid charging points in Central London.
Uber scrappage scheme
The ride-sharing app is also taking steps to clean up London air today, with a ‘scrappage scheme’ initiative aimed at Uber riders.
The firm will give 1,000 people in London, who scrap a pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicle, £1,500 of credit to spend on Uber rides.
Uber’s plans for London are intended to future-proof it for London’s ever-tightening restrictions on vehicle usage, and also win the confidence of regulators. Last year, Transport for London (TfL) said it would not renew Uber’s licence to operate in the capital.
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A court case saw Uber granted a short-term licence of 15 months rather than five years, and the company said this was a ‘wake-up call’. It is now hoping to prove to TfL it is a responsible operator.
“The Mayor of London has set out a bold vision to tackle air pollution in the capital and we’re determined to do everything we can to back it,” said Uber CEP Dara Khosrowshahi.
The Clean Air Plan is described as a long-term investment that Uber hopes will see Londoners “replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options – whether car, bikes, scooters or public transport – all in the Uber app”.
Chris Large from Global Action Plan, the charity behind Clean Air Day, called Uber’s plan “one of the most ambitious aims of any major company in the future mobility sector.
“Two major barriers slowing the uptake of electric cars are still the purchase price and substandard charging network. Uber’s efforts to overcome these barriers should be commended.”