Uber is aiming to go all-electric globally by 2040, in an effort to slash its environmental footprint.
The new plan, announced earlier this year, will begin with the company ensuring that all of its rides in major cities across Europe, the U.S., and Canada will take place in electric vehicles by 2030. Then, by 2040, the company plans EVs or public transit to handle 100% of its trips.
“It’s our responsibility as the largest mobility platform in the world to more aggressively tackle the challenge of climate change,” Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a press release.
The first steps of the electric rollout will involve giving users the option of selecting a “Comfort Electric” option in an additional 15 U.S. cities, taking the total to 25 across North America. Those rides take place inside vehicles like Teslas, Polestars, or Ford Mustang Mach-Es.
Of course, cost is a major hurdle. The average electric vehicle costs $66,000 compared to the average new vehicle, which costs $48,000 .
Uber told CBS News that it plans to commit $800 million in resources to help drivers transition to these vehicles, as well as incentives to encourage its drivers to finally make the swap.
“Drivers eligible for Comfort Electric can earn more per hour as a result of higher fares, gas savings, and an extra $1-per-trip incentive for each trip they complete (up to $4,000 annually),” Ashwin Dias, Global Head of Vehicles and Electrification at Uber, said in a press release. “In 2022 alone, EV drivers active on the Uber platform have avoided using over 5.7 million gallons of gasoline.”
Uber has also partnered with Hertz to give drivers the option of renting Teslas on a weekly or monthly basis. Dias claimed that “more than 25,000 drivers” are already renting a Tesla and benefitting from the scheme.
One Uber driver, Mallissa Gilgen, has been renting a Tesla since March, and says she has been making $200 more per week while also avoiding high gas prices.
“I don’t know about you but $200 a week adds up, you know?” Gilgen told CBS News. “For me and my family, that is like a week’s worth of groceries right there.”
Of course, the road to sustainability is a long one, but Khosrowshahi is aware of the role Uber must play, asking customers to hold them to account.
“This is a start, and we expect to be judged against our actions,” he said in a press release. “Uber is aiming high. We’ll seek to build the most efficient, decarbonized, and multimodal platform in the world for on-demand mobility.”
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