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Uber adds electric vehicle option for London customers

Uber users in central London can now request an electric vehicle, as opposed to a hybrid or internal combustion engine to ‘encourage riders to take action on climate change’.

The ride-hailing app announced that from today, ‘Uber Green’ will now be an option in central London (Zone 1), as part of Uber’s push to be fully electric throughout London by 2025.

Trips must begin in Zone 1, but destinations are unrestricted. Passengers will pay the same fare as petrol, diesel and hybrid Uber journeys, however drivers will be charged 15 per cent less for the usual service fee.

In January 2019, the company added a 15p per mile clean air fee across London to help drivers with the expense of switching to greener vehicles. Currently, this has raised £125 million and the total number of electric Uber cars in London has soared from 100 to 1,600.

However, Uber has a total of 45,000 vehicles in London, leaving just a small percentage of drivers that are eligible for the green scheme and rides who request an all-electric ride may have a longer wait time than usual.

Therefore, Uber still has a mountain to climb to reach its goal of switch its London fleet to electric within the next four years, and even more so to go fully electric around the word by 2040.

Jamie Heywood, EU General Manager of Uber, commented: ‘We continue to partner with drivers to help them make the switch to electric and today we are excited to start offering riders the option to select an electric vehicle at no extra cost, allowing everyone using Uber to play their part in cleaning up urban transport.’

In other news, last year Uber pledged £5 million to install public charging points across underfunded London boroughs to help with the switch to electric cars.