On September 8, 2020, Uber announced that 100% of ride-hailing trips will take place in electric vehicles by 2030 in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The company plans to have 100% electric vehicles worldwide by 2040.
According to The Verge, Uber does not plan on paying drivers to trade in their gas-burning vehicles for electric ones. Instead, Uber plans to impose an extra fee on trips completed in an electric vehicle. The hope is that this will incentivize drivers to make the switch.
The fee, which started yesterday in 15 cities in the United States and Canada, is called the Uber Green surcharge. For an extra dollar, riders have the option of requesting a hybrid or electric vehicle. Drivers who use hybrid or electric vehicles to pick up passengers will get an extra 50 cents per ride. Drivers who use battery-electric vehicles get another dollar on top of that.
For Uber customers, rides in hybrid or electric vehicles will become slightly more expensive, but Uber believes it’s a necessary cost to help speed the transition to a zero-emission fleet. In addition to the new surcharge, Uber plans on spending $800 million to help hundreds of thousands of drivers in the United States, Canada, and Europe transition to electric vehicles by 2025.
In an effort to get drivers to make the change sooner, General Motors announced it will offer employee pricing on a new Chevrolet Bolt EV for eligible Uber drivers. The employee pricing also works with an $8,500 national rebate Chevy is currently running for the electric car.
Uber is not the first ridesharing company to pledge a shift to electric vehicles. In June 2020, Lyft announced its plans to transition to 100% electric vehicles by 2030. Decisions like this are being made because transportation is the sector contributing most to climate change—particularly in the United States.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation makes up nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the nation. Efforts to rein in its pollution have so far failed. According to Uber, robust collaboration between industry and government stakeholders is the only way to successfully transition to electric mobility.
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