Uber to pay drivers in some cities to switch to electric cars

Uber has launched its EV Champions Initiative, a pilot programme which encourages its drivers to adopt electric vehicles (EVs).

“This program kicks off today in seven cities — Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle — in partnership with leading electric vehicle (EV) adoption experts,” Uber said.

“This program builds off the success of existing pilots in Pittsburgh and Portland and we’re proud to team up with experts who have decades of experience in EV adoption,” the company said.

“Together, we hope to better equip both plug-in electric and full battery electric vehicle drivers for success.”

Uber said it aims to deliver at least 5 million EV rides over the next year.

To address concerns regarding  the challenges drivers face when they use an EV, such as losing fare-earning time to charge their vehicles, accessing adequate fast-charging stations in urban areas, and getting affordable access to higher mileage EVs, Uber provided the following:

  • Access to EV education and resources: Drivers will be provided the best, most up to date information on all the resources, incentives and programmes they can take advantage of in their areas. In select cities, the pilot provides direct monetary incentives for driving EVs for Uber.
  • In-app features built for EV drivers: One of the biggest challenges for EV drivers is “range anxiety” – worrying your vehicle might run out of charge before making it to a suitable EV charging station. Uber introduced a 30 minute trip notification for drivers so they’ve got an idea of what’s in store on the road ahead before they pick up a rider.

Now read: Google removes Uber bookings from Maps

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Uber to pay drivers in some cities to switch to electric cars