It’s no longer news that Uber is changing the way it did business previously. With a change of management came a new business strategy that is “focused on organic growth—growth that comes from building the best products, services and technology in the world, and re-building our brand into the mobility brand that riders, cities and drivers want to support and partner with.” Uber’s CEO made this statement when he announced Uber was selling its South-East operations to fierce rival, Grab.
Now, the rideshare behemoth has announced a pilot program designed to encourage the use of electrical vehicles. The Uber EV Champions initiative has launched in over six cities in the U.S namely San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin and Montreal Canada. In a blog post announcing the pilot, Uber’s lead on sustainability and environmental impact Adam Gromis reinforced the company’s commitment to facilitating “reliable transportation for everyone, everywhere and making our cities more efficient and less reliant on personal car ownership”.
More About Uber EV Champions initiative
This program was first piloted in Pittsburg and Portland and its success prompted pilots in other cities. The Uber EV Champions initiative will reward Uber drivers in different ways when they switch to electric cars and offer rides in these cars. As a driver, you stand to be rewarded either in cash or via other incentives as an EV driver.
The initiative wants to deliver at least 5 million EV rides in 2019 through Uber drivers/partners. Uber will be partnering with leading electric vehicle (EV) adoption experts like Association des véhicules électriques du Québec, Canada, Electric Mobility Canada, Plug-in America (PIA) and others.
Uber Drivers/Partners Adoption of Electrical Vehicles
According to Uber, many Uber drivers have expressed interest in offering rides with EVs but are worried that the limitations of driving EVs will affect their earnings. EVs have to be charged during the day at some point. Also, some EVs can’t do the miles that fuel-powered vehicles can do and identifying charging points across the city may affect valuable work time.
To assuage these concerns, Uber identified proposed the following solutions in-app:
- Access to EV education and resources: Driver/partners will be given up to date information on all resources, incentives, discounts, and programs they can use to their advantage in their cities.
- In-app features built for EV drivers: Uber drivers will receive in-app support that will notify them when they need to charge their cars. The long trip notification feature will be of great help to EV drivers.
- Advocacy for shared-use EV drivers: Using EVs for shared rides will be a great way to spread the news for the widespread adoption of EVs.
Customers who match with Uber EV drivers will be notified that they will be riding with an EV. This move will help sensitize customers about the need for a greener environment. To make it easier for drivers to charge their cars on the go, Uber will be partnering with public utilities companies like Portland General Electric to create charging networks for drivers. We look forward to the worldwide adoption of EVs in the nearest future.
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