Uber accelerates move to electric vehicles in London with new driver grants and incentives worth £5,000

Image credit: Uber

Uber has announced a major initiative to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) among its London drivers. From tomorrow, all Uber drivers in the capital who don’t already drive an electric car can apply for a £5,000 grant to help buy a new or used electric vehicle.

The move is part of Uber’s wider strategy to transition to an all-electric fleet in London by the end of 2025.

Currently, London is Uber’s top city globally in terms of EV usage, with 25% of all Uber kilometers in the city being electric. Despite this achievement, Uber recognizes the need for additional incentives to achieve its ambitious all-electric goal within the next two years.

In collaboration with various partners, Uber is introducing several important measures to stimulate the use of electric vehicles:

  • Power-up Grants: Uber drivers can use the £5,000 grants to purchase a new or used electric car. This funding comes from Uber’s Clean Air Plan.

  • Significant EV discounts: Drivers can get additional discounts ranging from £12,000 to £17,000 on selected EV models, including some from Kia’s award-winning range. Combined with the Power-up Grant, this could mean a total saving of up to £22,000.

  • Free charging: EV drivers benefit from up to three months of free charging credit worth £750, followed by an exclusive charging rate via bp pulse.

  • Extensive charging network: Redbridge Council is deploying 34 dual chargers (68 charging points), funded by Uber, as part of a £5 million investment to install 700 chargers across three London boroughs.

  • Promotions for passengers: Londoners get 10% off their first Uber Green ride, and drivers earn 10% more per ride with Uber Green compared to UberX.

Drivers have the flexibility to use their subsidy for outright purchases, rentals or rent-to-buy deals, with Uber’s network allowing drivers to switch to an electric car within a day.

Uber’s data shows that London’s Uber drivers are eight times more likely to adopt electric vehicles than the general public, with one Uber driver’s switch to electric saving four times the emissions of an average driver. This is highlighted by a BloombergNEF report, which calls for greater affordable EV supply, better charging infrastructure and targeted incentives for high-mileage drivers to drive electrification in Europe.

Support from London City Hall, including an exemption from the £15 daily congestion charge for electric vehicles, has contributed significantly to the rapid transition. New data from Uber shows that the share of electric journeys in the Congestion Charge Zone more than doubles when the charge is active, significantly reducing air pollution in central London.

Since launching its Clean Air Plan in 2019, Uber has raised £145 million to support its drivers in the transition to electric vehicles, marking a significant step towards cleaner urban mobility.

Andrew Brem, managing director of Uber in Britain, said: “Now is the time to accelerate electrification, not slow it down. We cannot achieve our collective zero emissions targets without continued action from policymakers and investment across the sector. Uber drivers can be the catalyst for accelerating electrification in the transportation sector, but collaboration will be crucial to combat air pollution and build a more sustainable future.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “I am committed to achieving my mission to make London a net-zero city by 2030, and the electrification of our buses and cars is absolutely key to that. I welcome this initiative, which will help motorists who need it to exchange their petrol or diesel car for an electric car. Such schemes will help us build a fairer and greener London for all.”

Steve Hicks, Sales Director of Kia UK, said: “We are delighted to be putting our global Memorandum of Understanding with Uber into practice here in the UK, supporting the company’s Clean Air Plan in London with the delivery of award-winning electric vehicles. Combining Uber’s climate-positive purpose with Kia’s advanced products will accelerate improvements in London’s air quality and ensure that drivers and passengers alike enjoy every journey, with industry-leading range options and customer-focused functionality and convenience.”

Akira Kirton, vice president of bp pulse UK, said: “bp pulse has been working with Uber since 2021 on their mission towards a ‘zero car emissions future in London by 2025’. bp pulse helps motorists make the switch to electric by accessing our growing number of fast and ultra-fast charging hubs and keeping their costs low through free bp pulse plans and exclusive charging rates. These will continue and complement the free charging offer announced today – funded by Uber.”

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