By adding an extra fee for those who make the switch to an EV, Uber pledges to shift 100 per cent electric by 2030.
In the United States, Canada, and Europe, Uber aims to be completely powered by electronic vehicles by 2030, and the rest of the world by 2040. To encourage their drivers to make the switch, the company intends to add an extra fee for trips made in an electronic vehicle over a gas-burning one.
The “Uber Green” surcharge has launched in 15 selected cities within the United States and Canada for testing. This initiative allows riders to specifically request a hybrid or electric vehicle – for only an extra dollar.
Drivers who drive hybrid vehicles will receive an extra 50 cents per ride, and those who drive battery-powered will receive an extra $1.50 per trip.
Uber sees this extra expense for their rides as a necessary cost in their goal of a swift transition to a fleet of zero-emission drivers. To help drivers’ transition by 2025, Uber will spend $800 million of its own profit.
However, Uber is not making it a requirement to drive a hybrid or electric vehicle in order to make money from their app. They believe that incentivising their drivers will produce a better result than punishing or forcing them to change.
Not only is this announcement being made at a time where hundreds of thousands of US citizens are talking about ride-hailing services making the switch, but it’s at a time where there is evidence supporting how damaging ride-sharing services are in comparison to other modes of transportation.
The average trip a rider makes in a ride-share has been found to generate 50 per cent more pollution than a traditional car trip. Further, over 50 per cent of those who used ride-sharing services had access to more environmentally friendly transportation to their destination.
Uber accentuates that this transition will be the most difficult plan they have ever had. To help promote their cause, they have considered a cash incentive for North American drivers, however, this never went past the pilot phase.
The hardest part of their plan will be convincing millions of drivers to make the switch.
To achieve their goal of absolutely zero-emissions by 2040, Uber has announced their intentions to partner with stakeholders such as electric vehicle charging companies, automakers, car rental operators and many more.
Further, they hope that governments will help their cause; stating they “urgently need more robust collaboration between industry and government stakeholders.”
Under their Clean Air Plan in London, Uber added a 15 pence per mile as an incentive to promote their goal of having London Uber drivers being completely electric by 2025.
As of 2019, ride-share vehicles, including Uber, are required to pay the £11.50 daily congestion charge in central London, as ruled by the Transport for London. However, vehicles that produce zero-emission will be exempt from this charge; this is an incentive for the company to achieve their goal as quickly as possible.
Uber has been working in multiple countries in relation to this goal, including France and Norway. Various countries have even set goals to ban traditional gas-burning vehicles. Norway aims to do so by 2025, France by 2040 and the UK by 2050.
There is a correlation between increasing air pollution in European cities and increasing numbers of ride-shar drivers.
Transport and Environment, a European research group, has reported that there is an increasing correlation between the number of ride-sharing drivers or companies and increasing levels of air pollution in European cities.
Compared to these strides in European countries, the US is not doing much towards the correlation between environmentally friendly vehicles and air pollution. While Senate Democrats proposed providing large discounts to car owners that traded for electric vehicles, the Republicans have used tax incentives and credits to resist these efforts.
Within the United States, transportation generates around a third of its greenhouse emissions. Al plans to rectify this issue has failed.
Though Uber is making strides, they are not the only ride-share company that has plans to shift to electric vehicles. Lyft announces in July 2020 that they would have 100 per cent electric vehicles by 2030. It is a race to see which company reaches this goal first.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated, “while we’re not the first to set ambitious goals in transitioning to EVs, we intend to be the first to make it happen.”