Uber Wants To Make It Easier For Its Drivers To Go Electric

A new program at Uber wants to make it easier for its drivers to go electric—and get more EVs on the road. The company is also adding features to its app for drivers who specifically use these types of vehicles.

“We see the writing on the wall,” Adam Gromis, Uber’s head of sustainability, told the Los Angeles Times. He said that as cities move toward sustainable transportation, companies such as Uber need to boost their environmental friendliness. “Unless we can be delivering a more efficient form of mobility, we won’t be providing a good solution that cities need. That’s why we’ve gone into bikes. That’s why we’re working with transit. That’s why we’re focused on electrification.”

Uber typically alerts drivers before they accept any longer, 45-minute rides. Now, for EV drivers, they’ll be notified if a ride is expected to be longer than 30 minutes.

Starting today, riders will get a push notification alerting them when they’re matched with an EV driver. But passengers won’t be able to choose to ride in an electric vehicle—at least not yet.

In addition, Uber will also use its global platform to educate the general public about electric vehicles through the nonprofit Veloz, which is focused on increasing EV adoption worldwide. About 200,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. in 2017, which represents about 1 percent of total sales. Uber has recently helped drivers lease EVs through limited pilot programs.

The program is called the EV Champions Initiative and operates in seven cities: Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Cash incentives for drivers who switch to EVs will vary city to city.

The LA Times learned that drivers in Pittsburgh, San Diego and San Francisco are getting just $1 extra per ride, with at least San Diego drivers capping out at $20 per week.

Source: The Verge