Uber Aims to be a Zero-Emission Platform by 2040

Uber has announced it will commit to becoming a zero-emission platform by 2040 and will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in its drive to hit that goal. The ride-hailing company said its aim was to see ‘100 per cent of rides taking place in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit, or with micromobility’. To reach its goal, Uber said it will help drivers transition to EVs.

The company says its efforts will involve four key actions. The first is to expand its Uber Green service – already available in some European cities – to 15 US and Canadian cities. For an extra dollar, customers can request a ride in an EV or hybrid vehicle and riders using Uber Green will receive 3x Uber Rewards points for every trip taken. By the end of the year, Uber says the Uber Green service will be available in more than 65 cities globally.

The second initiative is to help drivers transition to EVs. Uber says it will do this by committing more than $800 million in resources to help hundreds of thousands of drivers in the US, Canada, and Europe make the move by 2025.

Incentives for drivers to drive greener and electric vehicles include earning more from each trip. In the US and Canada, hybrid and EV drivers will receive an extra $0.50 directly from the rider on every Uber Green trip completed. Drivers using a zero-emission vehicle (a battery EV) will receive an additional $1 for every trip they complete.

In London and France, Uber already has a ‘Clean Air Plan’ in motion. This includes a Clean Air Fee on every trip taken through the app and which is set aside to support drivers in moving into an EV.

Other initiatives include teaming up with vehicle manufacturers, charging network providers, and EV rental and fleet companies to provide millions of dollars in savings to EV drivers. The company says it is working with GM in the US and Canada, Renault-Nissan in the UK, France, Netherlands, and Portugal – and recently announced a tie-up with VW in Berlin – and will also expand EV access through Avis in the US to make it easier for drivers to rent a zero-emission vehicle.

Discounted EV charging will also be available around the world in locations ‘where drivers most need it’ and Uber is also working with battery-swapping start-up Ample in the US, as well as electric fleet operator Lithium Urban Technologies in India.

All of these initiatives are designed to give drivers the opportunity to more easily transition to a zero-emission vehicle.

The third initiative is investment in a network to provide sustainable alternatives to the personal car – including offering bikes and scooters in the Uber app wherever possible – and introducing a new feature that will allow users in Chicago and Sydney to plan their entire journey, combining UberX with walking directions and city bus, subway, or train connections. The feature – Uber and Transit – will be powered through real-time transit information and Uber’s on-demand mobility network.

Lastly, Uber has released a Climate Assessment and Performance Report.

The report analyses real-world data from the nearly 4 billion rides facilitated by Uber’s platform in the US and Canada from 2017 through 2019. Findings indicate that trips taken with Uber are less carbon-intensive than traditional on-demand mobility services like taxis but that carbon intensity for rides taken with Uber is still higher than that of average-occupancy personal cars.

Source: Motor Trader E-magazine (October 2020)

6 October 2020

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