Uber creates $800m fund to help drivers transition to EVs by 2025

9 Sep 2020

Image: © Alexandr Vorobev/Stock.adobe.com

As part of its overall goal to reduce carbon emissions, Uber will offer $800m in resources to help drivers transition to EVs.

Uber has published details of a four-point plan with the goal of having its global fleet of vehicles being emission free by 2040. In a blog post, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is also working towards having 100pc of rides take place in electric vehicles (EVs) in US, Canadian and European cities by 2030.

Of the four actions Uber is planning, one of the most notable is the promise of spending $800m over the next five years to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to EVs. Khosrowshahi said efforts to make the transition more affordable for drivers include a new initiative called Uber Green.

‘Uber is taking this moment as an opportunity to reduce our environmental impact’

Under this initiative, drivers who operate hybrids and EVs will earn extra money from each trip, receiving $0.50 from a passenger surcharge on every Uber Green trip they complete. EV drivers will also receive an additional $1 from Uber for every trip as a way to incentivise the use of zero-emission vehicles.

Uber Green has now been launched in 15 cities in the US and Canada, but will be available in more than 65 cities globally by the end of the year.

The ride-sharing giant also said it has formed partnerships with auto manufacturers to cut better deals with Uber drivers and has agreed discounted charging rates with public EV charging point operators.

Uber will also partner with local governments on initiatives. In France, it has introduced a clean air plan that includes a matching commitment by the company toward EV purchases made by French drivers.

No more business as usual

Referring to the impact of Covid-19, Khosrowshahi said: “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.”

Research published earlier this year found that ride-hailing services – such as Uber and Lyft – contributed 69pc more climate pollution on average than the trips they displace, such as through walking or cycling.

In Ireland, taxi app Free Now recently announced a new ‘eco’ booking option for trips, which allows users to choose an EV or hybrid taxi. A survey conducted by the company found that 90pc of customers would consider an eco option if it were available.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic