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Uber Launches an Electric Vehicle Pilot Program in 7 Cities

June 20, 2018
2 min read
Uber requiring its most frequent drivers to take breaks
Uber Launches an Electric Vehicle Pilot Program in 7 Cities
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Uber wants to reduce its carbon footprint by launching an Electric Vehicle Champion Initiative.

The on-demand ride-hailing service announced a year-long pilot program Tuesday that hopes to increase the number of EV rides it delivers. The seven cities participating in the program are Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Uber hopes this program will deliver at least 5 million EV rides within the next year; the company estimates they had roughly four million across the US and Canada in 2017.

The initiative has 12 partners, including the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.

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To drive this project, the company is offering cash incentives to the drivers who give EV rides. For example, in San Diego and San Francisco, Uber will provide plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) drivers with a $1.00 per trip incentive. EV charging stations will also be installed at Uber's San Diego Greenlight Hub. Pittsburgh will have similar incentives and has a $5,000 budget to increase access to high-speed charging infrastructures in the city.

"Unless we can be delivering a more efficient form of mobility, we won’t be providing a good solution that cities need," Adam Gromis, Uber’s head of sustainability, told the LA Times. "That’s why we’ve gone into bikes. That’s why we’re working with transit. That’s why we’re focused on electrification.”

Featured image by Uber driver. (Photo by @Vruln via Twenty20)