The mobility company Uber has launched its service UberGreen in Kiev. In the Ukrainian capital, 200 electric cars of different makes are to take to the streets and the company expects 10,000 people using the service by the end of April. Yet in other cities, progress has been slow.
Kiev is not the first city in which Uber is trying to encourage the uptake of electric cars. UberGreen is currently available in Bucharest as well as Amsterdam, Paris, London, Lisbon, Porto, Zurich, and Munich.
Supposedly so we are tempted to add, given that our editors experience of Uber in almost all of the above towns has rendered poor results. In short, these UberGreen electric cars appear anything but widely bookable.
In Kiev, however, Uber acts as the actual fleet operator, rather than having drivers introduce their own cars. In the Ukrainian capital, the fleet comprises 200 electric vehicles, including Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Hyundai Ioniq, Tesla S, BMW i3, Chevrolet Volt, and Chevrolet Bolt cars, according to the Kyiv Post. The Interfax agency also quotes a representative stressing at the press launch that “of course, this is just the beginning. We expect that by the end of April, 10,000 Kyiv residents will take advantage of Green”.
Again this remains to be seen. What is certain is that Uber has been trying to increase efforts to help their usually freelance drivers to switch to electrified options, not the least due to incoming legislation preventing gas guzzlers from entering city centres. In London for example, the company has introduced a surcharge through the app that is to translate into an extra for the driver reportedly. Moreover, a trial in Berlin is imminent. On an even greener note, Uber has also bought into e-bike sharing services as they acquired Jump to add to its mobility portfolio (we reported).
For UberGreen to render real results though, increasing the number of available electric cars remains critical. Given that UberGreen started in Bucharest with 20 EVs, the 200 electric cars for Kiev seem a good start.
If you live in any of the UberGreen cities, we’d love to hear of your experiences.