Uber: The Race to Zero Emissions

Article by Uber

A little over a year ago, Uber began the long journey of becoming a zero-emissions mobility platform. It’s on us to continually reduce the environmental impact of trips taken with our app. 

We know it’s not about what we say but what we do. As we reflect on 2021, we’ve taken some steps forward and we’ve learned a lot, but there is still much more work to be done. Here’s the latest on where we stand: 

  • Uber expanded support for drivers to transition to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), through things like:
    – Education: We established a wide range of educational programs for drivers across our major markets including EV ambassador programs in the UK and France, driver webinars and events, public awareness campaigns, and personalized support such as our new EV cost calculator.
    – Incentives: In 2020 and 2021, Uber offered drivers two types of direct incentives to support a transition to ZEVs: set-aside incentives for internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers to switch to a future battery EV with our Clean Air Plan and Electric Mobility Plan (in London and France, respectively), and extra earnings opportunities for ZEV drivers through direct trip-based incentives in the US and Canada, as well as Uber Green drivers through either an additional incentive or a service fee reduction.
    – Savings: We launched partnerships with more than two dozen EV industry leaders to help drivers save money with access to preferred terms and discounts on EVs and EV charging solutions, including:
    1. Partnered with TotalEnergies and Izivia Groupe EDF to accelerate drivers’ access to at-home chargers and public charging in France and with Power Dot to offer exclusive access to charging hubs for drivers on the Uber platform in Portugal
    2. Partnered with bp Pulse to open, the first rapid-charging hub in central London built with dedicated chargers (50kW) for drivers on the Uber platform
    3. Expanded our partnerships with Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Renault, and Tesla to provide bespoke offers on long-range EVs across our key European markets
    4. Partnered with Greenlots, soon to become Shell Recharge Solutions, to develop and install EV charging locations for EV drivers in Vancouver, British Columbia
    5. Partnered with Wallbox to offer drivers using Uber in the San Francisco Bay Area a discounted package for a Wallbox home charger, integrated installation service, and financing options
    6. Expanded our partnership with EVgo to support high-mileage drivers in the US with fast, reliable public charging
    7. Partnered with Tesla UK so that drivers on the Uber platform in London can use their Clean Air funds to buy, rent, or lease a Tesla
    8. Teamed up with Hertz to make up to 50,000 fully electric Tesla rentals available to drivers in the US by 2023.
    9. Advocacy: We work with partners to advocate for policies that support transportation decarbonization in cities so drivers—especially those from lower-income and underrepresented groups—can go electric. Our partners and the initiatives we support include: the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), Veloz, the Global New Mobility Coalition (GNMC), the Zero Emission Urban Fleets (ZEUF) network, the COP26 Declaration on Accelerating the Transition to 100% Zero Emission Cars and Vans, the European Climate Pact, the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance (CEVA), the European Association for Electromobility (AVERE), and the EU Platform for Electromobility.

Are you a driver interested in going electric? Visit Uber’s sustainability page to see the latest discounts on EVs and EV charging tools available through our partners. 

  • Making headway in Europe: We announced that drivers on the Uber app in Europe are switching to electric vehicles (EVs) nearly 5 times faster than in the mass market, putting us on track to meet our ambitious 2025 electrification commitment across seven key European capitals – Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid and Paris. As we highlighted in Uber’s 2020 SPARK! report, progress towards a fully electric platform is best achieved in cities where we can constructively work with local governments who have prioritized a green recovery. We also announced London has more fully electric vehicles on the Uber app than any other major global city – with more than 4,000 drivers switching to EV. This was more than double the number from May this year.
  • Supported WRI Research: We provided data to support the World Resources Institute’s study that examines the barriers that prevent drivers from accessing EVs and opportunities for governments, companies, utilities, charging operators and others to expand access to affordable, convenient charging, especially for low-income communities. WRI published this article summarizing the solutions.
  • Climate Assessment and Performance Report: We’ve released our second annual impact report, which evaluates progress on decarbonization and electrification on over 1.4 billion passenger rides facilitated by Uber’s app across the US, Canada, and Europe from January 2020 through June 2021. It examines progress on product development and supporting drivers’ shift to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs)—generally battery EVs—and also performance on efficiency and climate-related metrics. Among the findings:
    – ZEV use on Uber more than doubled from one year ago
    – Uber’s network of nearly 6,000 ZEV drivers leads all others: There are 5,811 average monthly active ZEV drivers in US, CAN, and top European countries.
    – There were 4.9 million ZEV trips completed via Uber in the first half of 2021 alone, across Europe, Canada, and the US
    – -34% lower carbon intensity of trips on Uber in US/Canada vs. traditional taxis
    – Drivers are shifting to ZEVs fastest in Europe: Drivers using the Uber app in Europe are adopting ZEVs faster than typical drivers. In London, for instance, drivers on Uber use EVs 8 times more than regular car owners. We predominantly attribute the stark contrast in ZEV uptake by drivers in Europe versus those in North America (where drivers are moving to EV slower than the general population) to leading urban policies in European cities that contribute to improved economics for drivers in ZEVs versus those using ICE vehicles. 
    – Each active ZEV driver on Uber completes an average of 142 zero-emission rides every month
    – Uber’s green products have expanded by as much as 290%: As of September 2021, Uber Green was available in 100 major urban markets, making it the most widely available on-demand mobility solution in the world for no- or low-emission rides.


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