Ride-hailing service Free Now has started to offer electric cars as the default first option for customers in the UK, ahead of petrol or diesel vehicles. Free Now is aiming for 100% of its trips to be zero-emission by 2030, across all key European cities.
In the UK, the German ride-sharing service has pledged to ensure its taxi services will be “zero-emission capable” by 2024, and for every vehicle to be “zero-emission capable by 2025”.
A joint venture between BMW and Daimler, Free Now claims that in Europe electric car rides have increased by 71% since January 2021. Across Europe, Free Now allows access to 130,000 new electric scooters, e-bikes and electric shared cars.
“We are already the largest electric fleet platform in the UK but want to go further faster and make choosing electric vehicles even easier for drivers as well as customers,” said Mariusz Zabrocki, UK General Manager at Free Now.
Free Now also undertook a survey of 1,000 adults in the UK this month. The results showed that 60% of those surveyed think that there are too many private cars on the road, while 17% say that private car dependency is one of the main transport issues in their area.
“This year alone, we have seen a 135% uplift in passengers opting for EVs, and a 35% increase in EV drivers on the platform,” said Zabrocki.
“These figures reflect the growing demand for sustainable options within the ride-hailing industry, highlighting again that transitioning to zero-carbon/low-emission vehicles is not just the right thing to do but also good business sense.”
Of those surveyed, 97% said that businesses should make it easier to adopt greener habits through their services, while 87% said they are worried about climate change.