Uber is on a mission to lower its ecological footprint with the adoption of more and more zero-emissions vehicles in its fleet. The ride-sharing platform expands its Comfort Electric program to additional 15 US cities thus now making it available to a total of 25 cities in North America. But that’s just the beginning as Uber wants to go fully electric by the end of the decade.
Speaking with CBS News' senior national and environmental correspondent Ben Tracy, the company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently said his company aims to become CO2-neutral by 2030. This plan includes not only Uber’s North American operations but also Europe, he confirmed.
"We have a target to be fully electric in the US, Canada, and Europe," he told the reporter and was then asked whether drivers of gas-powered vehicles will be allowed on the platform after the end of the decade. "No, if we're doing our job we're gonna be all-electric" was the answer to that question.
In order to provide support for drivers willing to make the switch to an electric vehicle earlier than mandated, Uber has plans to spend around $800 million on different incentives. For the time being, the ride-sharing company offers discounts on EV charging and also pays drivers of battery-powered vehicles a dollar for every EV trip they make. Also, Uber partners with Hertz, and the two companies have the option for drivers to make long-term Tesla rents.
As far as the Comfort Electric program is concerned, it is now available in 25 cities and states around the country with further expansions planned in the near future. It may not be the cheapest option for customers but Uber’s CEO believes the more EV drivers they get on the platform, the cheaper and quicker the option will become for the customers. "The momentum is great but most of the work is ahead of us not behind us," Khosrowshahi concluded.
Currently, Uber has about 26,000 electric vehicles in its fleet. The plan is for the number to nearly double to about 50,000 EVs by next year.