Uber wants all its London drivers in electric cars by 2025

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Go Ultra Low Nissan LEAF on charge on a London street. Ultra-low emission vehicles such as this can cost as little as 2p per mile to run and some electric cars and vans have a range of up to 700 miles.

As Uber continues efforts to repair its relationship with London government officials, the ride-hailing giant today announced a wide-ranging “Clean Air Plan” that includes the goal of having all its cars in the city fully electric by 2025.

In a press release, the company said it wants to support the London mayor’s efforts to reduce pollution in the city and improve health.

“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 CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a statement. “Our £200 million Clean Air Plan is a long-term investment in the future of London aimed at going all-electric in the capital in 2025. 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.”

The company is still trying to rebuild ties with the city after its license was revoked amid criticisms over its bullying of regulators. Much of the damage was done under previous CEO Travis Kalanick before he was booted out of the company last year. Khosrowshahi has been on an apology tour of sorts since being hired just over a year ago and has made getting Uber back into London a priority. This summer, the company received a temporary license allowing it to restart service.

The new plan seems intended to continue building up goodwill. It calls for charging a “clean air fee” of 15p ($.19) per mile on each trip in London, money that will be used to help drivers eventually buy electric cars.

Uber says the more miles drivers accumulate, the more financial assistance they will receive toward electric car purchases. The company estimates someone driving 40 hours per week could possibly receive £3,000 ($3,894) in two years.

However, smaller model EVs, such as the Renault Zoe, can start at £17,854 ($24,172). Uber says it’s in negotiations with manufacturers to enlist their help in the plan.

Still, Uber projects the plan will raise more than £200 million ($260 million). And it estimates that as many as 20,000 drivers could go electric by the end of 2021.

Uber also announced a partnership with EV charging suppliers to increase charging stations and make charging more affordable.

Meanwhile, the company is proposing a “diesel scrappage scheme” to get 1,000 of the dirtiest cars off the roads. Anyone ditching a “pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicle” will receive a £1,500 ($1,946) credit to spend on Uber.

Source: VentureBeat

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