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Uber & EVgo Sign MOU to Promote the Use of Electric Vehicles on Uber's Platform

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【Summary】Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc and electric vehicle charging site operator EVgo have announced a new agreement to accelerate the electrification of ride-share vehicles across the U.S. Uber and EVgo will focus on supporting Uber’s driver-partners who currently drive electric vehicles with access to EVgo’s public fast charging network.

Eric Walz    Sep 26, 2019 10:30 AM PT
Uber & EVgo Sign MOU to Promote the Use of Electric Vehicles on Uber's Platform
(Photo: Uber)

Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc and electric vehicle charging site operator EVgo have announced a new agreement to accelerate the electrification of ride-share vehicles across the U.S.   

Representatives of the two companies have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) during Climate Week at an event held in San Francisco.

The first phase of the new MOU between Uber and EVgo will focus on supporting Uber's driver-partners who currently drive electric vehicles through education and access to EVgo's public fast charging network. 

The two companies will also work to develop a series of pilot programs to make it easier for Uber driver-partners to make the switch to EVs and to develop new partnerships to accelerate the electrified rideshare ecosystem, including integrations between the Uber and EVgo apps.

The overall goal is to get more drivers working for Uber to switch to electric vehicles, as well as promote the adoption of electric vehicles. Uber driver partners also need a place to charge their electric vehicles when driving for Uber and the partnership will work to provide better access to charging sites operated by EVgo.

"EVgo and Uber share a commitment to getting more drivers and passengers to experience the benefits of electric vehicles," said Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo. "Today's announcement represents a big first step in a partnership between Uber and EVgo to help tackle the climate crisis by leveraging EVgo's convenient and reliable fast charging nationwide network and deep experience in electrifying rideshare to deliver cleaner miles to Uber driver-partners, passengers, and the communities they serve."

Uber and EVgo will also work together to evaluate where more fast charging is needed and how to optimize charging behavior to best serve the needs of Uber drivers.

EVgo operates the largest public EV fast charging network in the U.S. Its charging sites are also powered 100% by renewable energy. The company operates more than 1,200 DC fast chargers across more than 750 locations in 66 metropolitan markets in 34 states.

The chargers are compatible with all fast charge capable EV models currently on the market.

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A newly opened EVgo charging station in California.

Uber itself has been blamed for increasing traffic and pollution in cites such as New York and San Francisco. Last year, the office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera released information which estimated that 45,000 Uber and Lyft drivers were working in the city. That number is 55,000 in New York City, according to Bruce Schaller, an urban transportation expert. 

While it makes it easy to hail an Uber in these cities, riders and drivers must cope with frequent gridlock, especially in city centers where most of Uber's pickups are. The goal the partership with EVgo is to encourage these Uber drivers to make the switch to an electric vehicle. 

Last year, Uber announced a pilot program in the cities of Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, paying drivers an incentive to switch to electric vehicles. Uber's driver partners in these cities were paid $1 extra per trip for driving an electric vehicle while working for Uber.

Also last year, Uber began notifying customers in the United States and Montreal through the app if the driver they are matched with is picking them up in a electric vehicle. The pilot program was designed to encourage conversations between riders and drivers about the benefits of electric vehicles. 

In Oct 2018, Uber announced a "Clean Air Plan" in London to help reduce air pollution. The bold aim was for every car on the app in the capital city to be fully electric in 2025. At the time Uber said is was planning to add a surcharge to all fares booked via its app in London to help its drivers buy electric vehicles.

"Promoting the transition to electrified rideshare will be the key to unlock Uber's bold new climate commitments," said Adam Gromis, Global Head of Sustainability at Uber. "Uber is thrilled to be partnering with EVgo, the leader in promoting rideshare electrification across the United States, to support the expansion of cleaner, greener transportation options."

Founded in 2010, EVgo partners with automakers, retail stores, hotels, shopping centers, parking lot operators and other stakeholders to make it easier for drivers to fast charge their electric vehicles. EVgo has previous worked with GM's Maven Gig and Lyft to provide better access to EV charging infrastructure.

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