Uber has not given up on Europe despite a ban of their ride hail service in many cities. Instead the firm tries to tie in with local authorities on a greener note. They want to launch electric bike sharing through their Jump subsidiary and also UberGreen, first in Berlin.
Ride hailing service Uber has been under criticism for some time. Taxi unions and cities blamed the app startup for undercutting prices and crowding the streets. German cities prove particularly critical and Uber has since been trying to find other business causes. Sustainability for example and so they announced to launch their electric bike sharing this summer in the German capital.
The Uber service that builds on the acquisition of Jump bikes is in operation in San Francisco and Washington DC. In Berlin, the pedelecs are to free float as well although this may result in critical authorities soon again. Berlin has seen a rise in bicycle sharing programmes crowding the walkways but only the LimeBike offers pedelecs to rent so far.
Still, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says Uber wants “to work with local governments and cities to make our model work,” and called the Jump bike service a “signal of what the new Uber can be like”.
He means eco-friendly. Accordingly, the launch of UberGreen in Berlin is planned this year as well. The service allows customers to book a pick up with an electric car. A trial in Munich has been successful and will continue with more cars. UberGreen is also available in Amsterdam, Bucharest, Paris, London and Lisbon. They use Renault Zoe electric cars (we reported).
UberGreen is restricted to certain areas. Still, cab drivers in Berlin protested outside the conference hall, where Uber announced their plans. The Uber CEO signalled a willingness to talk to protesters but clarified Uber’s position: “When you’re changing traditions, there are constituencies you may anger.”
Uber plans to roll out UberGreen and their Jump pedelec sharing to other European cities in future. In London Uber had lost the license but is still running. Here their drivers must have an EV by 2025 and may receive funding through Uber’s Clean Air Fund. The aim is to have a 100% electrified fleet on the Isles by 2022 reportedly.
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