Uber has announced that hundreds of new electric vehicle (EV) chargers are to be installed across north and east London, following a landmark agreement between the ride-hailing company and three London boroughs.
Over 700 EV chargers will be installed on streets in Newham, Brent, and Redbridge, in a boost for London’s charging network.
“Drivers often tell me that being able to access reliable charging near their homes is critical to their decision to switch to an electric vehicle. By targeting investment where it is most needed, we are confident that thousands more drivers will make the switch to electric, allowing them to benefit from lower running costs and higher earnings on Uber,” said Jamie Heywood, Uber General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe.
“Ensuring that everyone can access EV charging will spark a mass transition to electric vehicles and help drive London towards a greener future.”
The 700 new chargers are the result of a £5 million investment from Uber, working in close collaboration with each borough to determine where chargers should be installed. These on-street charging points will improve access for those without driveways or home chargers.
“I’m seeing more and more drivers change to electric vehicles and I even convinced a few to make the switch myself,” said Imtiaz Elahi, an EV driver from Newham who drives with Uber.
“If we want drivers to keep converting to EV we need to improve access to chargers in all London boroughs as well as across the country.”
Thanks to the supportive policy framework in the capital, London has become the global leader in terms of Uber’s electrification efforts. According to Uber, More than 5,000 EVs are currently on the app in London, driving over one million electric miles per week. The company is on track to more than double this number by the end of the year and to become an all-electric platform in the capital by 2025.
Professional ride-hailing drivers are the early mass adopters of EVs with more than 90% of new vehicles joining the Uber app being fully electric. With many drivers living in boroughs such as Brent, Newham and Redbridge, there is significant demand for more charge points in these parts of London. The capital’s concentration of EV chargers is currently highest in central and west London, with over a quarter of chargers in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.
This is the first time that boroughs have worked with a ride-hailing company to directly install chargers on London’s streets. The chargers will be Uber branded and available for everyone to use.
By incentivising a wider shift to EVs, Uber and its partners across the three boroughs aim to help tackle air pollution for all local residents, and share learnings with other local authorities on how private companies and the public sector can collaborate to address this challenge.
Later this year, Uber plans to expand its EV-only option ‘Uber Green’ from Zone One to the whole of London – meaning that riders will be able to request an electric vehicle from anywhere in the city for the same price as a normal UberX. Drivers will also earn 13% more when taking trips on Uber Green.