Uber to Raise Prices in London to Help Drivers Switch to EVs

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【Summary】With some help from riders, Uber is looking to make the switch to having all-electric vehicles in London.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 27, 2018 3:00 PM PT
Uber to Raise Prices in London to Help Drivers Switch to EVs

Uber has become a global powerhouse for those looking to move away from traditional car ownership. We all have probably used the company's ride-hailing app that lets you get from one point to another without having your own vehicle, but that's only one aspect of the company. 

Uber is working on autonomous vehicles, with help from major automakers like Toyota. The company is also developing a program that includes electric scooters and electric bicycles for consumers that live in urban areas. There's also the company's somewhat farfetched plan to bring flying cars and drones to its users. 

Uber To Help London Crack Down On Air Pollution

As more and more consumers are making the switch to using ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft as their primary methods of getting around, air pollution continues to be an issue. As London looks to crack down on air quality in the city, that could pose to be major problem for Uber. 

Earlier this month, Uber announced a radical plan to help London combat air pollution. To do so, the company plans to raise roughly $260 million to help all of its drivers in the city trade their gasoline-or diesel-powered vehicle in for an electric one. Unfortunately, users will have to help fund the transition. 

The company will raise the price of its rides in London by charging users with a "clean air fee," which is roughly an additional $0.19 per mile. Interestingly, not all of that money will go toward the goal of getting drivers into electric vehicles. Instead, only one penny will go toward that cause – the rest of the money will be put toward other clean-air programs. 

Uber To Help Drivers Transition To EVs

While that may sound kind of sketchy, Uber claims that it will pay its drivers a specific amount of money based on how many miles they've driven for them. "For example, a driver using the app for an average of 40 hours per week could expect around £3,000 of support towards an EV in two years' time and £4,500 in three years," stated the company in a statement. 

By the end of 2021, Uber expects to see roughly 20,000 drivers make the switch to an electric vehicle. It also believes that it will raise approximately $256 million over the next few years to support drivers' transition to the more eco-friendly vehicles. 

In addition to the new fee, Uber stated that it would also help London improve its charging infrastructure by teaming with home charging suppliers, which include BP ChargeMaster, EO Charging, EVBox, NewMotion, Franklin Energy, Swarco EVolt, and Pod Point. The whole point of adding more charging stations in the city is to help its drivers fill up on electricity in between rides. 

As CNBC reports, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made it his mission to help clean up the city's air. Khan, as the outlet claims, is set to institute a charge of approximately $16.00 on individuals that drive an older car that emit a lot of harmful pollutants into the air next April. Britain is also looking to introduce an all-out ban on the sale of gasoline-and diesel-powered cars in the country by 2040. 

"The mayor of London has set out a bold vision to tackle air pollution in the capital and we're determined to do everything we can to back it," stated Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi. 

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