With 5 million drivers registered in February this year worldwide, Uber Technologies Inc. has faced criticism from environmental groups and city officials for years, as they say the company has contributed to increased pollution and congestion in major cities urban. It seems that the company has decided to take the complaints seriously. Declaring it has closed partnerships with General Motors, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, the private transport service provider announced that, by 2040, its entire vehicle fleet will be electric.
According to the platform, US $ 800 million will be dedicated to drivers to exchange conventional cars for those powered by batteries, and this value includes discounts on purchases or rents made at partner automakers, equipment refills and collection of surcharges for electric and hybrid vehicles. Such costs would be partially covered by charging a “small additional fee” from customers who request “green travel”.
In certain markets, the goal is even more ambitious. Also according to Uber, in the United States, Canada and Europe, due to regulatory support and advanced infrastructure, the change should occur by 2030.
Industrial and environmental impacts
The company’s decision should be responsible for leveraging the electric vehicle sector in the automotive industry. Tighter environmental regulations, especially in Europe, are requiring automakers to adapt their operations to new requirements, something that can cost billions and whose return is still considered moderate. That should change, since reducing the cost of purchasing cars of the type, usually more expensive than those powered by fossil fuels, is among the company’s intentions.
Data on Uber’s participation in the emission of gases have already been raised and, he says, will be published in future reports. Anyway, she said that her partners’ trips in the USA and Canada produce 41% more carbon per mile, as they include the route between the driver and the passenger. In 2019 alone, 7 billion races were added worldwide.
As of today (8), partners with electric vehicles from both countries receive an additional US $ 1 per trip and an additional US $ 0.50 if users opt for the modality in large cities. In addition, multinational EV charging station companies, such as BP and EVgo, are being consulted to offer discounts and expand their solutions.