Uber charges to electric
Uber has unveiled a £200m fund to help drivers in London switch to electric vehicles. However, the ride-hailing giant isn’t planning to finance the initiative itself, with passengers set to foot the bill.
Uber says it wants some 20,000 drivers upgrading to EVs by end-2021, while it is also aiming for all Uber cars to be fully electric in the UK capital by 2025.
The company is making users pay by adding what it calls a ‘clean air fee’ of £0.15 per mile. For an average trip in London, this will mean an excess charge of around £0.45.
“Every driver using the [Uber] app in London will be able to get assistance to help them move into an electric car,” says the company. “The amount of support drivers will receive towards the cost of an electric vehicle will be based on the number of miles they have driven on the app.”
Uber cities the example of a driver working an average of 40 hours per week receiving around £3,000 of financial backing for an EV in two years’ time.
In the UK, the company has partnered with ChargePoint to offer rapid charging stations in central London to existing drivers of EVs.
It’s unclear if this will go down well with drivers who will also need to stump up to go electric. Many are dissatisfied with Uber’s working conditions and some are expected to join other ‘gig economy’ workers in a UK demonstration tomorrow, which is part of nationwide action to protest the precarious nature of their occupations.
The Court of Appeal is due to hear a case relating to the employment rights of Uber.