Uber is committed to ensuring that by 2030, all rides ordered on its platform in North America and Europe will be carried out using hybrid or electric vehicles. A transition of the fleet which will require assistance to the drivers.
10 years. This is the time taken by Uber, the world No. 1 in private hire vehicles, to rely on a fully electrified fleet of vehicles. By 2030, the platform is committed to ensuring that in Canada, the United States and Europe, 100% of shopping is done in electric vehicles. A “deadline” date set at 2040 for the rest of the world.
Between additional costs and incentive bonuses
To achieve this, Uber does not plan to buy electric vehicles for its drivers who – it should be remembered – are self-employed and operate their own cars. Strategically, the company is basing its hope on its ability to encourage customers to opt for drivers equipped with “clean” vehicles, as part of a program called Uber Green, which has already been launched in 15 North American cities.
In these cities, for an additional $1, customers can demand to be transported in an electrified vehicle (hybrid or electric). For their part, drivers using a hybrid car will receive a bonus of $ 0.50 per trip, and 1.50% if their car is 100% electric. Making “clean” trip more expensive is a necessary evil, according to Uber, to accelerate the transition to a cleaner fleet.
Support the drivers
While Uber does not intend to purchase clean vehicles on its own (with the exception of those that will be used in the future as autonomous cars), the company nevertheless plans to release $800 million over 5 years to help hundreds of thousands of drivers replace their combustion vehicles with electrified models. The conditions of eligibility for this aid fund have not been specified, but it is clear that the most complex part of Uber’s plan will be to convince the drivers to change vehicles, given the precariousness of their status and the economic difficulties encountered by some.
In addition to this fund, Uber has therefore signed partnerships with General Motors in North America and Renault-Nissan in Europe, providing attractive commercial offers specifically for ride-sharing drivers. A partnership has also been signed with Avis, the vehicle rental company, to make electric vehicle rental more accessible for drivers. Finally, Uber is also counting on the collaboration of States to support the transition of vehicles used for the transport of people to “zero emission” models through conversion bonuses, via major national transition plans as there are in most countries.
A not so “green” model
These announcements are made by Uber in a climate of ecological mistrust: several recent studies show that rides from ride-sharing platforms are on average 50% more polluting than a trip made with a personal car and that, in large cities, a majority of trips carried out by ride-sharing platforms would have been done with a cleaner means of transport if these services did not exist.
Hugues Louissaint is an entrepreneur and writer, living in the US for over a decade. He has launched successful products such the Marabou Coffee brand, which has been highly successful in Florida. He has also been a writer for more than 5 years focusing on science, technology, and health. He writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and provides valuable input on a wide range of subjects.