In just two years, every vehicle operating on the UberX service in London will have to be a hybrid or all-electric as part of a new clean air plan Uber announced Friday.
Uber will not allow any diesel or solely gas vehicles on the app beginning in 2019. It also laid out larger zero-emission goals for the city, including a 100% hybrid or all-electric standard for every vehicle on the UberX service across the U.K. by the end of 2022.
The ride-sharing company says more than half the miles on UberX journeys in London are already in hybrid or fully electric cars. But it wants to further boost those numbers. By 2025, the company will require that any vehicle using the app in London must be all-electric.
Stricter emissions regulations are pushing the ride-sharing company, and its competitors, to act.
To help reach these goals, Uber has launched a diesel scrappage scheme aimed at removing 1,000 of the most polluting cars from London’s roads. The first 1,000 people in London to scrap a pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicle and provide an official scrappage certificate will receive up to £1,500 ($1,979) of credit to spend on Uber or uberPOOL rides.
The ride-sharing company says it will give drivers grants up to £5,000 ($6,598) to make the switch to a hybrid or all-electric car. Uber is putting £2 million ($2.6 million) of its own money towards the grant. The rest of the grants will be funded by a 35 pence (about 46 cents) surcharge on all London trips beginning next month. People using uberPOOL trips will be excluded from the 35p addition.
Uber has been pushing towards low- and zero-emissions goals for awhile now, including for flying vehicles. In April, the company announced it would partner with startup ChargePoint to develop chargers that will fit any vertical take-off and landing aircraft, a.k.a. “flying cars.” Uber has aspiration to launch a network of flying electric taxis.
Last year, Uber partnered with Nissan and Chinese automaker BYD, to give drivers easier access to all-electric vehicles in London. The program started with 50 electric vehicles and has since expanded by another 100 in preparation of strict emissions laws in the capital’s urban center.