Uber prices to spike in London to help fund more electric cars
Uber in line with other progressive companies fully embraces the idea of electric mobility, to prove it aims to fully electrify its service in London, one of the most stringent cities in the world when it comes to emissions.
To help its drivers with funding the switch to electric the company will add a 'clean air fee' in 'early' 2019, the charge will be 15p per mile adding about 45p to average London journey. Uber says that an average driver working 40 hours a week could get around £1500 via the scheme, in total Uber hopes to raise £200 Million over the 'next few years'.
Currently, Uber operates around 40,000 drivers in London and hopes to have half of them drive electric by 2021 with the rest joining them by 2025.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive called the plan"a long-term investment in the future of London aimed at going all electric in the capital in 2025".
Furthermore, he added that Uber wants to help people replace cars with phones or more accurately Uber, as the company aims to offer a wide range of mobility solutions such 'whether cars, bikes, scooters or public transport - all in the Uber app."
The initiative will certainly be needed as UK government had recently announced that coming November 9th it will no longer provide grants for hybrid vehicles, and severely reduce the grants for electric from £4500 to £3500.
Cost of EV's is a problem for Uber as most people only drive Uber as a temporary stop-gap rather than a career choice. Therefore even the cheapest Tesla the Model 3 at around £30000 is likely to be out of the budget, and cheap alternatives like the Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf are small and have relatively short range for Uber work.
Apart of EV's cost Uber found that the charging infrastructure is still lagging behind, especially for Uber driver needs as most of the need a quick and reliable access to charging stations all over the city to work effectively. To adress this Ube came out with range of solutions:
Uber working with several home charging suppliers (BP ChargeMaster, EO Charging, EVBox, Franklin Energy, NewMotion, Pod Point and Swarco EVolt) to help provide affordable charging options to drivers using uber app.
Uber partnered with ChargePoint to provide a number of rapid charging stations in central London to existing drivers of electric vehicles.