Uber pledges to ensure all its drivers have fully electric vehicles in Europe, the US, and Canada by 2030, and across the rest of the world by 2040
Ride-hailing giant Uber has announced that 100 per cent of its journeys will be fully electric by 2030 in Canada, the US, and Europe, and by 2040 across the rest of the world, in a move it said underscored its role in helping in tackling the climate crisis.
The firm made the commitment in a blogpost published yesterday, promising to invest $800m "to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to EVs by 2025".
It plans to expand its Uber Green programme to more than 65 cities globally, enabling users to specifically request a hybrid or electric vehicle for an extra US$1. The service is currently available in 15 US and Canadian cities.
The company also outlined plans to partner with car manufacturers such as General Motors in the US and Canada, and Renault-Nissan in Europe, in a bid to secure discounts for its drivers when purchasing an EV.
"The pandemic has caused many cities to rethink their infrastructure, transforming parking into parks and creating more space for walkers and cyclists," the firm's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi wrote. "We've had a glimpse of what life could be like with less traffic and cleaner air - in cities built for people, not for cars. Instead of going back to business as usual, Uber is taking this moment as an opportunity to reduce our environmental impact. It's our responsibility as the largest mobility platform in the world to more aggressively tackle the challenge of climate change. We want to do our part to build back better and drive a green recovery in our cities."
The Californian firm said it would incentivise drivers to switch to EVs by adding a 50 per cent surcharge for drivers who use hybrid or electric vehicles, and an additional dollar - totalling $1.50 - for drivers that use battery-electric vehicles.
Uber has already committed to having all its cars in London fully electric by 2025, adding 15p per mile to rides under its Clean Air Plan to fund incentives that will help drivers to switch to EVs. The move came after Transport for London ruled that private for-hire vehicles would no longer be exempt from the congestion charge.
The pledge sees Uber match rival Lyft, which recently pledged to shift to have an electric fleet by June 2030, although Lyft has not yet indicated how it plans to support drivers to make the move. Both firms have previously been criticised for their climate impact, with research suggesting their service displaces more environmentally friendly modes of transport such as walking or cycling.
Climate groups welcomed Uber's commitment, with Greenpeace calling it a "major move from a major player" and urging the UK government to bring forward its ban on new petrol diesel and hybrid cars to the same date.
"As Uber adds its name to the growing number of companies that are committed to going fully electric by 2030, the case for banning new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans by the same date mounts," said Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace.
The UK government recently set out plans to bring forward its proposed ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035 or earlier, folliwing widespread conerns the initial deadline of 2040 would be too late for the country to meets it net-zero goals.
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