Uber has been repeatedly vocal about their environmentally friendly aspirations. After dabbling around with proposals ranging from electric scooters and EV charging networks, the company’s eco-friendly ambitions finally reached a pinnacle when it announced a clean air plan for London this year. Nonetheless, details on the proposal weren’t disseminated until now.
By 2025, Uber expects all its cars operating in the London area to be electric. They hope to accomplish this by charging an extra £15 per mile starting next year, meant to raise a £200m fund by 2021. This would ensure 20,000 of its drivers the money to upgrade to electric vehicles. Uber claimed the air fee would mean the cost of the average three mile trip to the capital would increase by about £45 pounds, but that it would all go towards helping drivers upgrade to electric automobiles. Under Uber’s plan, each driver will have their own savings account towards the purchase of an electrical vehicle. However, the amount of assistance drivers will receive will depend on the number of miles they have driven on the app. For instance, a driver working for about 40 hours per week could expect around £3,000 of support in two years and £4,500 in three years.
Furthermore, Uber stated that it was already negotiating prices with manufactures to ensure the production of enough vehicles. It has also partnered with home charging suppliers like BP ChargeMaster, EO Charging, EV Box, Franklin Energy, New Motion, Pod Point and Swarco EVolt to ensure drivers can charge their vehicles with ease at home. Therefore, it should not be long until electric cars become common in the capital. This and the fact that cars in London are unused 95% of the time has lead to Uber offering £1,500 in credit for its app to the first 1,000 people in the city to scrap a pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicle. In fact, Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer of Uber, said it was the company’s goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options. He also stated that he was confident most drivers would follow Uber’s plan, but in the case they didn’t the money would just go towards other environmental projects.
Although the plan may seem like a step towards a better future the IWGB (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) said they were very concerned the decision would “lure drivers deeper into debt, as they struggle to finance expensive vehicles on below minimum wage income.” They claimed it was the government’s job to fix London’s growing congestion and population problem by reducing taxi numbers in the city. Even though Uber have already taken the decision to implement the plan starting next year, there is still a chance for an appeal.