It’s fair to say that Uber isn’t having the best of times in London right now, with a lawsuit against TfL’s new taxi rules and disgruntled UberEats couriers dominating the headlines. One thing that could help change the public (and perhaps political) perception of the company is a reinforced commitment to reducing pollution on the city’s roads. That’s what Uber is doing today with a pledge to make more than 50 electric cars available in its app in London over the next month as part of its UberX service.
It’s all thanks to a partnership with car makers BYD and Nissan. With their help, Uber will offer “top-rated drivers” a mix of zero-emission BYD E6s and Nissan Leafs. You might remember that Uber performed a similar trial in Chicago last year. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) will then conduct a three-month study into Uber’s EV programme to see whether running a large EV fleet is beneficial for everyone involved.
Uber says that more than 60 percent of rides in London already take place in hybrid cars, but today’s launch may help reduce the city’s air pollution a tiny bit more. Should everything go to plan, the company intends to introduce EVs “at least one other UK city this autumn,” ensuring that it has “hundreds of fully electric vehicles on its app next year.”