Uber Introducing ‘Clean Air’ Surcharge in London

Uber is to make its London customers pay more for their journeys in order to improve the city’s air quality, it says.

Beginning in early 2019, passengers in the app’s cars will have to pay a ‘clean air fee’ of 15p more per mile, which the ride-hailing service claims will go towards helping its contractors “upgrade” their vehicles to electric ones.

The move has been announced as part of Uber’s Clean Air Plan, which it claims will help “tackle air pollution in London”. The company says it wants all its drivers’ cars in the city “to be fully electric in 2025”. It says it expects “to raise more than £200m” for its EV upgrade program for drivers from the surcharge, and for 20,000 of its London contractors to be driving AVs by late 2021. The amount of money a driver will get towards the cost of an EV will apparently be based on how many miles they’ve driven for the service.

Uber also claims to be partnering with a number of EV charging companies, in addition to its existing partnership with ChargePoint, in order to provide its drivers with a greater supply of rapid charging points to charge the EVs which they will supposedly buy. The company also says it will give up to £1,500 in ride credits for the first 1,000 people in London to trade in their diesel-powered vehicles for electric ones.

Suggesting that the primary motivation behind the Clean Air Plan is increased revenues rather than a desire for cleaner air, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi commented: “Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone”.

 


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