London Uber drivers will be encouraged and assisted to buy electric vehicles as part of a £200 million ($A366 million) plan to tackle the polluted capital’s air quality.
The “Clean Air Plan” aims to have all Uber drivers offering the company’s on-demand transport services doing so in all-electric vehicles by 2025.
The English capital has a shocking scorecard for air quality, with over 9,000 Londoners dying each year due to toxic air according to a report commissioned by the city.
Uber’s plan is a response to the Mayor of London’s recent announcement of a further £6 million in funding available through the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, which plans to tackle London pollution hotspots.
“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 chief Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.
“Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options – whether cars, bikes, scooters or public transport – all in the Uber app.”
With 6 million car journeys made in the busy capital each day and an increase in ride-share drivers from 60,000 to 110,000 in the last seven years, the city has a lot to gain from moving London Uber drivers to EVs.
It will be the users of the rideshare app though, pardon the pun, driving the EV shift as well — the ride-share giant wants to levy its passengers with a 15 pence (A28 cents) per mile fee added to cost of each ride.
The money raised will be given to drivers towards the cost of an electric car based on the number of miles they drive — a full-time driver could expect £3,000 (about $A5,500) in two years time, says the company, which expects 20,000 drivers to go EV by 2021.
Of course, with all those new EVs on the road, more chargers are needed, and to that end Uber is also focused on addressing the availability of EV chargers.
So far, they’ve partnered with ChargePoint, and are also teaming up with a number of suppliers to provide home charging options to drivers.
The company also wants London drivers to scrap their old diesel cars, offering a £1,500 of credit to 1,000 drivers who do so to go towards UberPOOL rides.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.