Uber will put £5m into EV charging infrastructure across poorer London boroughs to incentivise its drivers to switch to EVs.
The firm made the move to illustrate the need for charge points across the capital – and to show the ‘postcode lottery’ of charging in the city. Also, it discovered only 1,000 Uber vehicles in London are fully electric which means significant growth is required to meet its 45,000 EVs by 2025 pledge.
The firm has a deal with Nissan to provide 2,000 subsidised Leafs to London drivers as part of a first move towards electrifying its entire fleet by 2040.
Analysis of points undertaken by the company discovered that the highest concentration of chargers was in boroughs such as Kensington and Westminster, rather than in areas where its drivers have residence.
For example, in boroughs such as Tower Hamlets, the number of charge points was lower – and there was less opportunity to charge off-road with driveways and off-street parking limited.
Speaking about the investment, Uber’s regional general maneger, Jamie Heywood, said the cash would be spent by 2023 in areas without infrastructure, specifically Newham, Brent and Tower Hamlets.
Heywood said: “Drivers consistently tell us that having reliable, accessible charging near where they live is a key factor when deciding if they should switch to electric.
“If we address this challenge for professional drivers now, it will help create a mass market for electric vehicles in the years to come. As we all know this is critical if the UK is to achieve our goal to be net zero.”