Ride-hailing app Uber will introduce a new fee in London in 2019 in a bid to help drivers buy electric vehicles.

The scheme is part of what Uber is calling its Clean Air Plan, which aims to have every car on the app in the capital to be fully electric in 2025 in an effort to aid pollution-cutting efforts in the capital.

As part of the plan, London riders will be charged a 15p per mile ‘clean air fee’. Uber says the full fee will go toward helping drivers upgrade to an electric vehicle, with the average journey in London yielding around 45p.

The fee means drivers using the app an average of 40 hours per week can expect around £1,500 of cash each year to buy an electric vehicle, according to Uber.

The company says it expects the scheme to earn more than £200 million for drivers “over the next few years”.

It also predicts that 20,000 drivers will upgrade to electric cars by the end of 2021.

In response to findings that a lack of public charging points is a barrier to electric car ownership, Uber says it has also partnered with home charging suppliers to provide “more affordable” home charging options to drivers.

Uber has also teamed up with Chargepoint to provide rapid charging stations in central London and claims it will work with the industry to “improve London’s charging infrastructure”.

Finally, the company is introducing a ‘diesel scrappage’ scheme aimed at removing 1,000 of the most polluting cars from the capital’s roads. The first 1,000 people to provide an official certificate to show they have scrapped their pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicle will receive £1,500 in credit to spend on the app.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said: “The mayor of London has set out a bold vision to tackle air pollution in the capital and we’re determined to do everything we can to back it. Our £200 million Clean Air Plan is a long-term investment in the future of London aimed at going all electric in the capital in 2025. Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options – whether cars, bikes, scooters or public transport – all in the Uber app.”

Chris Large, senior partner at Global Action Plan – the charity behind Clean Air Day – added: “Two major barriers slowing the uptake of electric cars are still the purchase price and the substandard charging network. Uber’s efforts to overcome these barriers should be commended. The aim for London Uber journeys to use only fully electric cars by 2025 is one of the most ambitious aims of any major company in the future mobility sector.”


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