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Ridesharing giant Uber unveiled a plan on Tuesday to raise $260 million (about £200 million) in order to get all of its drivers in London operating electric cars by 2025.
The effort is to help combat air pollution in the British capital, which is also a major initiative by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Uber plans to help fund its new initiative by charging all London riders a 15p surcharge per mile as a “clean air fee.” One penny of every 15p charge will go toward incentives for drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles, Uber says.
The app-based car company will give drivers on its platforms lump sums toward buying an electric car based on the number of miles they’ve driven with Uber. “A driver using the app for an average of 40 hours per week could expect around £3,000 of support towards an EV in two years’ time and £4,500 in three years,” Uber’s statement explained. Using this method, the tech firm predicts that 20,000 of its London-based drivers will have made the switch to electric cars by 2021.
“Our £200 million Clean Air Plan is a long-term investment in the future of London aimed at going all electric in the capital in 2025. Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options — whether cars, bikes, scooters or public transport — all in the Uber app,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in the statement.
As mayor, Khan has added daily taxes for the city’s drivers of older vehicles that have higher rates of pollution. The British government is planning to completely ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-run cars by 2040.
Uber’s more than 40,000 drivers in London, as well as UK cities Birmingham and Nottingham, were recently striking due to poor work conditions and low pay. The company’s operations were just re-instated in London by city officials over the summer, after having been banned due to Uber flouting some city regulations.
Featured image by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
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