Uber starts the fightback with more EVs in London
Uber, the ride-sharing app, has been in the news of late with some lawsuits building up and an accident involving one of the company’s self-driving vehicles in the USA. The accident in the USA was not the fault of Uber, and this has been proven by a police report. However, the company has begun a fightback with news that a further 100 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles will be made available to Uber drivers to rent out. This brings to 150 the total of electric Nissan Leaf cars available in London amid suggestions this figure could grow significantly in the short, medium and longer term.
Air pollution issues
While we often associate air pollution with the likes of China many will be surprised to learn that a “very high” pollution alert was recently issued by the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. This is the result of a new warning system which is used to alert Londoners to poor air quality. Uber has highlighted this issue in tandem with the increase in its EV fleet which will certainly earn a few brownie points for the company.
Air pollution in London is a major problem, and there are high hopes that the new Mayor of London will invest heavily in the city’s EV charging infrastructure. The previous mayor, Boris Johnson, was very positive on eco-friendly travel and this policy must be continued in the longer term.
Investment in charging points
While politicians fight amongst each other as to the best way forward with regards to electric vehicles, Uber has jumped the queue with news that the company will finance the installation of some rapid charging points in central London. Initially, these will be dedicated to Uber drivers, and the company’s app has even been modified to take in future rapid charging points when calculating routes.
The issue of charging points has been a bone of contention for the electric car market amid concerns that governments were reacting too slowly and momentum was waning. The vast majority of EV users are more interested in residential charging points with many pointing towards the US model of domestic EV charging kits. Charging your vehicle overnight is by far and away the most effective method although the cost of electricity will also need to be taken into account.
Progress is being made
When you bear in mind that Uber have a worldwide presence the fact the company is even considering, let alone acting upon, a policy to increase its fleet of electric vehicles is extremely positive. The company probably has an ulterior motive at this moment in time, deflecting negative press comment and promoting a more environmentally friendly service, but either way, this is good for the EV market. This additional investment by Uber will also put significant pressure on the London authorities and especially the new Mayor of London.