Uber has partnered with three London boroughs to install over 700 new electric-vehicle (EV) chargers across north and east London.
Over 700 fast chargers will be installed on streets in Newham, Brent and Redbridge to increase London’s car charging network by over 7%.
The new EV chargers are funded through a 5 million GBP investment from Uber, who is working with each borough to determine where the chargers should be installed. The chargers will be on-street charging points, meaning they won’t interfere with pedestrian infrastructure.
“Drivers often tell me that being able to access reliable charging near their homes is critical to their decision to switch to an electric vehicle. By targeting investment where it is most needed, we are confident that thousands more drivers will make the switch to electric, allowing them to benefit from lower running costs and higher earnings on Uber. Ensuring that everyone can access EV charging will spark a mass transition to electric vehicles and help drive London towards a greener future.”
There are currently more than 5,000 electric vehicles in London, driving in excess of a million miles per week. Uber wants to double that number by the end of 2022. It says it aims to have switched its fossil-fuel vehicles for electric ones in London by 2025.
Uber has a strong interest in increasing the amount of electric vehicle charging facilities in the cities where it operates, stating that more than 90 percent of new vehicles joining the Uber app were fully electric in 2021, compared to 11.6 percent of new vehicles in the mass market.
With many drivers living in boroughs such as Brent, Newham and Redbridge, there is consequently a significant incentive for Uber to want more charging points in these areas of London. However, the capital’s concentration of EV chargers is currently highest in central and west London, with over a quarter of chargers in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.
“We are very excited to be embarking on this partnership with Uber that will help increase the number of EV charging points even further in Brent. These charging points will provide greater accessibility for residents who do not have off-street parking, thus helping us promote the use of zero emission vehicles. This partnership is part of a number of initiatives on our journey to achieve zero carbon emissions in Brent by 2030.”
By incentivising a wider shift to EV, Uber and its partners aim to help tackle air pollution (from emissions, not particulates) for local residents. They will also share findings with other local authorities on how private companies and the public sector can collaborate to address the electrification challenge.
“We have been working hard to tackle toxic air pollution and to improve the quality of the environment in the borough. There is a huge challenge to meet and part of that is reducing pollution from vehicles. This agreement with Uber brings funding into Newham to help make charging more available, which can help support the jobs of thousands of Newham-based drivers. We promised to increase our EV charging points and this will help create a bigger network of chargers that all our residents can use and benefit from.”
Uber also plans to expand its EV-only option ‘Uber Green’ from Zone One to the whole of London later this year. This will allow riders to request an EV ride from anywhere in the city for the same price as a standard UberX. Drivers will also earn 13% more when taking trips on Uber Green.
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