The ride-sharing giant also committed to being all-electric globally by 2040
By 2030, every Uber trip in the U.S. will be in an electric vehicle (EV), Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently announced. The San-Francisco based company also confirmed that all of its Europe and Canada trips will be electric by 2030 and that Uber will “become a fully zero-emission platform by 2040, with 100% of rides taking place in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit, or with micromobility.”
“We believe we can achieve this 2030 goal in any major city where we can work with local stakeholders to implement policies that ensure a fair transition to EVs for drivers. In addition to our platform goals, we’re also committed to reaching net-zero emissions from our corporate operations by 2030. All told, hitting these goals would put us a decade ahead of Paris Climate Agreement targets,” Khosrowshahi stated. Uber’s smaller counterpart Lyft made headlines with a similar announcement in June.
Uber’s new commitment marks a major shift considering that transportation accounts for the largest source of U.S. emissions, and only 0.15 percent of today’s Uber rides are in electric vehicles, CNNBusiness reports. Additionally, a 2020 Union of Concerned Scientists study discovered that the average ride-sharing trip produced around 69 percent more emissions than the trips they substitute.
To coincide with the announcement, the ride-sharing giant released a 2017- 2019 Climate Assessment and Performance Report. The report showed that while Uber is more efficient than single-occupant driving, its carbon intensity is 41 percent greater than the intensity of average-occupancy personal vehicles.
According to the company, Uber is taking a “holistic approach” to reducing its emissions. The four main components of its plan include “expanding Uber Green to make it easier for riders to choose to travel in hybrids or EVs,” “committing $800 million in resources to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to EVs by 2025,” “investing in [its] multimodal network to promote sustainable alternatives to personal cars” and “being transparent and accountable to the public along the way.”
U.S. and Canada drivers who make the switch to battery-powered EVs and hybrids will receive an extra $0.50 per completed Uber Green trip from riders and those with all-electric EVs will gain an additional $1 (totaling $1.50), the company reported. Uber Green is the company’s all-electric option that Khosrowshahi said is now available in 15-plus cities in the U.S. and Canada, and by the end of 2020, will operate in 65 countries worldwide. While it will cost riders $1 extra, they can rest assured knowing that these trips result in 44 percent fewer carbon emissions compared to driving a gasoline-powered vehicle. Riders will be rewarded with 3x Uber Rewards points for each Uber Green trip as opposed to the standard 2x points given for an UberX ride.
Additionally, Uber has promised to provide $800 million to assist its drivers in making the switch to EVs in part by offering vehicle discounts for drivers who lease or purchase battery-powered vehicles from its partners. These recently declared partners include General Motors, its U.S and Canada ally. Uber’s CEO also stated that the company will “expand EV access through Avis in the US to make it easier for drivers to rent a zero-emission vehicle,” and that it has “coordinated discounted EV charging around the world in locations where drivers most need it with BP, EVgo, Enel X, Izivia by EDF, and Power Dot.
“The ultimate success of our business will rest on our ability to transition our platform to clean energy in partnership with drivers, industry innovators, and governments. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our cities, our shareholders, and the planet we all share,” said Khosrowshahi. Uber joins fellow industry titans like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple who have all in the past year made bold promises to eliminate their carbon output. Just this month Google, which has been carbon neutral since 2007, announced that by 2030, it expects to operate its offices and date facilities using 100 percent carbon-free power.