Uber is set to run more than 50 electric vehicles in London as part of its ride-hailing service. The company will use Nissan Leafs and BYD E6’s as part of a trial involving the Energy Saving Trust (EST), starting in September.
The project is part of Uber’s commitment to helping tackle air pollution problems in the capital, and the pure-electric Leaf and E6 models have zero-tailpipe emissions. As part of the trial, Uber and the EST will analyse the suitability of an electric vehicle fleet for private hire drivers.
This includes not only the range the EVs are able to cover on a single charge – and the respective charging requirements following on from that – but the charging infrastructure in London available to Uber drivers, driving patterns and behaviour, and the economics behind a large scale roll-out of electric taxis.
There are currently more than 2,000 public charge point connectors in the London area, though these include slow, fast, and rapid connectors, and those with restricted usage availability. Take a look At Zap-Map’s statistics to find out more.
Should trials go well, there are plans to expand the service to include hundreds of EVs available on its app from next year, while there are plans to introduce EVs to another UK city later this year.
Gareth Dunsmore, Head of Electric Vehicles, Nissan Europe, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Uber on what is a very exciting project that could ultimately lead to major improvements in air quality in London and across the UK.
“We are confident this trial will prove a success and that Uber will join scores of taxi and private hire operators across the UK and wider Europe in recognising the financial and environmental benefits of Nissan’s market-leading electric vehicles. With the impact of poor air quality remaining a cause for concern, the trial could prove to be a pivotal moment for tackling the challenges in London.”
Jo Bertram, Regional General Manager of Uber in the UK, said: “People already associate Uber with hybrid cars, but we now want to go a big step further with fully electric cars on the road from today.
“We are determined to use technology to help tackle the challenge of air pollution in London and across the UK. Our car-sharing service has already saved 1.2 million miles and 211 metric tonnes of CO2. With electric vehicles – and more people sharing their journey and leaving their own cars at home – there’s even more we can do.”