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Uber wants its 40,000 drivers in London to switch to electric cars

Here’s an interesting initiative from Uber. The ride-hailing company is funding an effort to have all its drivers in London, and there are apparently 40,000 of them today, switch to electric and hybrid cars by 2025.

Furthermore, all new cars going on the company’s Uberx network will have to be electric by the end of 2019.

They are putting in place some significant incentives to make the switch.

Each driver replacing their gas or diesel car for an electric vehicle will receive “up to £5,000” ($6,600 USD).

Uber says it is ready to spend up to £150 million ($200 million USD) to support the effort. They already invested £2 million in the new “Clear Air Fund” and they are instating a new 35p ($0.45) charge for each drive in London in order to finance the rest.

Fred Jones, Uber’s Head of UK Cities said (via Engadget):

“Air pollution is a growing problem and we’re determined to play our part. Londoners already know many cars on our app are hybrids, but we want to go much further and go all electric in the capital.”

Last year, Uber launched an all-electric fleet pilot project with 20 Nissan LEAFs in London.

The push is driven by the London’s clean air program after they had issues with severe air pollution in the city.

They have since introduced several programs to electrify transport in the city, like having their first long-range all-electric double-decker buses now in service.

London Black Cabs also started to add electric vehicles to their fleet.

Uber’s latest effort certainly seems more aggressive than previous ones. If successful, it could become the blueprint to convert Uber’s fleet to electric cars in other regions, which could have a significant impact both in term of volume and awareness for electric cars.

The company has been introducing other programs to encourage EV adoption lately like a similar program in Oregon where Uber’s EV drivers were also encouraged to educated passengers about EVs.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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