Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

UberX Plans to Go All-Electric in London by 2019

UberX Plans to Go All-Electric in London by 2019

In just two years, every vehicle operating on the UberX service in London will have to be a hybrid or all-electric as part of a new clean air plan Uber announced Friday.

According to Uber, more than half the miles on uberX journeys - which seat up to four passengers - in London are already in hybrids or EVs. The firm said that must rise to 100% by 2020.

If you own a diesel and drive with Uber, your days are numbered, but you could get some cash for changing cars. The pledge is part of the ride-hailing giant's "Clean Air Plan", which it hopes will "help tackle air pollution help tackle air pollution in London and across the United Kingdom with a series of measures for drivers, riders and cities".

Uber's United Kingdom operation has announced a new goal to electrify its entire London fleet by 2025.

Meanwhile, Swedish maker Volvo, now Chinese-owned, and British maker Jaguar Land Rover, now Indian-owned, said this year that all future models would include electrified versions.

Several European cities have announced plans to ban diesel vehicles, or older diesels with high levels of emissions, from entering their central cores.

Fred Jones, Uber's head of United Kingdom cities, said: "Air pollution is a growing problem and we're determined to play our part in tackling it with this bold plan".

The company has also announced plans to establish a Clean Air Fund to allow licensed drivers who use the app to access up to £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their auto to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle. The car-hailing company will fund the financial assistance in part, but is also adding a 35p surcharge on all London trips beginning in October. "Londoners already know many cars on our app are hybrids, but we want to go much further and go all electric in the capital". The first 1,000 people to hand over a diesel vehicle with a pre-Euro 4 emissions standard will be given £1,500 in Uber credit.

Campaigners welcomed the company's initiatives. "But to help reduce preventable deaths from air pollution this needs to be widened beyond Uber and beyond London".

Partly, the incentive will be actually being able to operate in London once the new rules go through.

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