Ride-hailing company Uber is expanding its Uber Green service with electric and hybrid cars in North America. After launching in 15 cities last September, Uber has announced plans to make the service available in 1,400 more cities and towns.
According to US media reports, Uber Green’s strong expansion will be limited to the U.S. and Canada for now – there is no mention of Europe. The test run of Uber Green also took place in cities in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Portugal. At the time, it said these cities would stand for “around 80 per cent of the European business.” The focus is apparently more on New York City, Washington DC, Austin, Houston or Winnipeg.
Uber had promised in September 2020 that by 2040, all rides booked through its platform worldwide would be taken by electric vehicles or micromobility services such as electric scooters or rental bikes. In North America and Europe, the goal is to be reached as early as 2030.
Uber Green has also launched a function whereby customers will be able to request a “green ride” in the app. This is associated with higher subsidies for drivers, which is partly financed by a higher fee from the customer, but also by Uber. In this way, the intermediary wants to compensate for any additional costs for drivers in the case of electric and Hybrid vehicles. There are also partnerships with manufacturers through which drivers can lease electric cars at a discount – with General Motors for the U.S. and Canada, and the Renault-Nissan Alliance for European cities in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Portugal.
A similar deal saw Volkswagen and Uber Green put a number of year-old e-Golf vehicles into use in Germany. A spokesperson for Uber clarified when talking to electrive, that the deal would give Uber drivers access to cheaper, pre-used electric cars.
It remains unclear how many electric or hybrid cars are in operation through Uber Green as Uber is not yet registering the vehicles by drive type.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey, London.