Uber goes hybrid in UK

Uber goes hybrid in UK

LONDONERS using Uber transport from 2020 – that’s barely two years away – will be travelling in quieter, cleaner cars, because Uber has told its 40,000 drivers in the Brit capital to switch to hybrid or electric cars by the end of 2019.

It will also ban diesel-powered cars from its fleet by that date.

Also, by New Year’s Day 2022, every Uber car in the 50 or so cities where it operates throughout Britain will also have to be hybrid or electric-powered.

But the hybrids in London will have a pretty short life with Uber, which is aiming at an electric-only fleet by 2025.

It will start a $245 million clean-air fund for grants to help its drivers make the transition and apply a small surcharge to every ride.

Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have already announced plans to ban diesels in their central city areas and Angela Merkel is having talks with leaders of 30 of Germany’s biggest cities in a bid to minimise diesel fumes.

The Uber move follows its all-electric vehicle programs in China, Portugal and South Africa. Last year it partnered with Nissan for a pilot project in London with 20 all-electric Leafs, a move that has steadily blossomed.

But the European Union has warned banning diesel cars in European cities could hamper the ability of car-makers to invest in zero-emission vehicles.

Euro bloc commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said there would be no benefit in a collapse of the market for diesel cars and the short-term focus should be on bringing dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions in line with EU regulations.

Bill Buys