Uber promises 100% electric vehicles by 2040, commits $800 million to help drivers switch

Uber Technologies Inc on Tuesday said every vehicle on its global ride-hailing platform are going to be electric by 2040, and it vowed to contribute $800 million through 2025 to assist drivers to switch to battery-powered vehicles, including discounts for vehicles bought or leased from partner automakers.

Uber, which as of early February said it had 5 million drivers worldwide, said it formed partnerships with General Motors and therefore the Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi alliance.

In addition to the vehicle discounts, Uber said the $800 million includes discounts for charging and a fare surcharge for electric and hybrid vehicles, the value of which might be partially offset by a further small fee charged to customers who request a “green trip.”

Uber said that vehicles on its rides platform within us, Canada and Europe are going to be zero-emission by 2030, taking advantage of the regulatory support and advanced infrastructure in those regions.

The deals with GM and therefore the Renault alliance specialise in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Uber said it had been discussing partnerships with other automakers.

Uber’s plan follows years of criticism by environmental groups and city officials over the pollution and congestion caused by ride-hail vehicles and involves fleet electrification.

Lyft Inc, Uber’s smaller U.S. rival, in June promised to modify to 100% electric vehicles by 2030 but said it might not provide direct support to drivers.

Uber said its goal is to scale back the general cost of ownership for electric vehicles, which are currently costlier than gasoline cars.

The company also released data on its emission footprint and said it might publish reports going forward.

Before the pandemic, electric cars accounted for less than 0.15% of all U.S. and Canadian Uber trip miles – roughly in line with average U.S. electric ownership. At around 12%, the share of plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars was roughly five times as high because of the U.S. average.

Ride-hail trips overall account for fewer than 0.6% of transportation-sector emissions, consistent with U.S. data, but the entire number of on-demand vehicles has significantly increased since Uber’s launch nearly a decade ago, with 7 billion trips last year, consistent with Uber’s February investor presentation.

Uber said its U.S. and Canadian trips with a passenger produce 41% more CO2 per mile than a mean private car once miles spent cruising between passengers are included.

Uber’s plans might be a boon to the auto industry. Stricter environmental regulation, particularly in Europe, is forcing automakers to take a position billions to overhaul their operations while consumer demand for electric vehicles remains subdued.

Uber is additionally working with BP, EVgo and other global charging providers to supply discounts and expand the situation of charging stations for ride-hail drivers – generally considered the most hurdle to wider EV adoption.

Beginning on Tuesday, all U.S. and Canadian Uber drivers during a fully battery-powered electric vehicle will receive $1 extra per trip, and a further 50 cents in major U.S. cities if passengers prefer to pay extra when booking a “green trip.”

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