Uber wants its drivers to switch to electric cars. To persuade drivers in London, the ride-sharing giant has pledged to invest more than £5 million ($6.5 million) in public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
“Drivers consistently tell us that having reliable, accessible charging near where they live is a key factor when deciding if they should switch to electric,” said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe. “If we address this challenge for professional drivers now, it will help create a mass market for electric vehicles in the years to come. As we all know this is critical if the UK is to achieve our goal to be net-zero.”
The funds will be directed towards some of the poorest boroughs in London, which only have a fraction of the electric charge points that wealthier parts of the city have. Uber admits it will have to invest more money to create the charging infrastructure necessary to persuade more drivers to go fully electric. The good news for Uber, however, is that the company sits on a fund of more than £100m raised through its self-imposed clean air fee in London, which charged passengers 15p (20c) per mile since 2018. That should help the company reach its goal of having all 45,000 cars on its app in London be electric by 2025.
At the moment, only about 1,000 Uber vehicles in London are fully electric, which means there’s a long way to go for the ride-sharing giant.