Nissan Promises 2,000 BEV Fleet to London’s Under Threat Uber

Nissan has pledged a fleet of 2,000 of BEVs for London’s Uber service despite the taxi company being under threat of losing its right to trade in the UK capital.

London’s regulator, Transport for London (TfL), last year refused to grant Uber a renewal of its licence to operate citing failings on passenger safety and security including 14,000 trips conducted by unauthorized fraudulent drivers. Uber has lodged an appeal and is allowed to continue trading until the appeal comes to court.

Now, in what many might see as a cynical attempt to appease the clean-air campaigning London mayor, Sadiq Khan, the company has signed a deal with Nissan to run a large fleet of BEVs. The fleet of 40kWh Nissan Leafs, which claim a range of 168 miles between charges, will be offered to drivers as part of Uber’s ‘Clean Air Plan’. Nissan will provide the company with a dedicated EV education program, transaction price and marketing plan to drive uptake of the zero emission vehicles.

Drivers taking part in the scheme will see 15p (20¢) a mile is added on to all London journeys in a bid to help drivers with the cost of adopting an EV. The taxi firm claims drivers will on average save £4,500 ($5,900) a year, depending on the miles they’ve driven, off the cost of switching to an electric car. It also claims more than 500 drivers every week are now using zero emission EVs.

Andrew Humberstone, managing director, Nissan Motor (GB), said: “Through innovation and collaboration, companies like Nissan and Uber can tackle the challenges of advancing personal urban mobility, whilst also improving air quality in our major cities. Not only will passengers enjoy the quieter ride that comes from all-electric driving, but cyclists, pedestrians and other road users will also benefit from the zero-emissions powertrain.”

To meet the increasing demand for electric vehicles in the capital, Transport for London has installed more than 1,000 EV charge points in the last year alone. Conversely, central London has nearly half as many petrol stations per car as the Scottish Highlands and only four remain within the congestion-charge zone.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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