London’s UberX is expected to include only electric cars and hybrids in its fleet moving forward. The company says that in two years, all the cars that will be operating as part of the UberX fleet will need to embrace this shift in what Uber calls a clean air plan.
The ride-hailing company says that starting in 2019, diesel or gas powered cars will not be allowed on its app. Uber also announced a comprehensive 5-year plan that looks to promote zero-emission vehicles in various major cities across the United Kingdom.
Although it appears to be a big ambition, it’s not really something new. At the moment, Uber notes that at least half of the miles covered under UberX journeys across London have been fully electric or hybrid. But there is room for improvement and the company has made it clear that it will be looking to boost these numbers moving forward.
To this effect, Uber has decided that all cars using the app in the UK will need to be fully electric by the year 2025. In addition to this, the ride-hailing company is now running a diesel scraping program that’s designed to identify and remove at least 1,000 of the most polluting vehicles from London roads. In the program, the first 1,000 people to scrap a pre-Euro 4 diesel car will get credit worth £1,500. The credit can be spend on Uber rides and uberPOOL too.
There are also some incentives for the drivers. The company says that drivers who will scrap their diesel powered cars will be offered grants in the tune of £5,000 so that they can switch to either fully electric cars or hybrids. The grants program will get a boost of £2 million from Uber’s own money. The rest of the funding will come from a small surcharge of 35 pence that will be charged on every London trip starting next month.
Uber has in the last few years been on the front line pushing for more decisive measures towards low emissions. The company has extended this commitment to flying vehicles too.
In April, the ride-hailing service announced plans to partner with ChargePoint, a startup that will facilitate the development of chargers that can fit such flying cars. The company is looking to develop a network of flying electric cars as part of its expansion program.
Uber also partnered with BYD and Nissan in a move to promote easy access to an all-electric car in for its drivers in London. So far, the program has expanded to 100 full electric cars after starting off with just 50. Major cities like London are now bracing themselves for strict emissions laws. The dangers of carbon emissions are real and every effort is needed to address the situation. Uber is indeed playing its part and the company is hopeful that indeed the programs it has rolled out will work out towards this objective.