Uber is committed to having 100% of rides globally in zero-emission vehicles or through micromobility and public transport, by 2040.
To date in Australia, we’ve been focused on micromobility, with our Lime e-bike integration, and on working with states on integrating public transport into the app – including with world-leading trials of multi-modal options like Uber + Transit in Sydney – to help create a more sustainable transport future. And in a global first, we also recently switched back on our most environmentally friendly rideshare offering – Uber Pool – in Sydney and Perth, and launched Pool Chance in Adelaide.
But being able to launch green rideshare options, like Uber Green where people can opt to take an electric vehicle, isn’t an option yet. That’s because in Australia, electric vehicles still only represent 0.7% of the million cars sold in Australia annually. For comparison, in the UK, that number is nearing 11%.
We’re advocating for positive change to help close this gap because we want to increase the electric kilometres driven on the Uber platform in Australia sooner rather than later.
That’s because we believe we can have an outsized impact in accelerating the transition to zero emission transport. One electric vehicle on the Uber platform can help 100 riders a month on average get from A to B, compared to one person getting to and from the office a couple of times a week. When rideshare drivers switch to electric vehicles, they also realise three to four times greater emissions savings compared to average car owners, because rideshare drivers use their vehicles more.
We can’t address some of the challenges facing electric vehicle uptake in Australia, but we believe it’s important to do our part. That’s why we’re trying something new. From July 1 2021 to June 30 2022, all existing and new drivers of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will pay half the service rate they otherwise would.
We believe in doing this we can encourage more Australians with electric vehicles to share sustainable rides with Uber. We’ll learn more about what we can do to drive uptake of EVs and help close the long-term cost gap for EVs in rideshare: the area we believe will have the biggest impact.
We’ll do this for 12 months and see where we stand. We want to see more drivers of electric vehicles join the platform, we want to do what we can to make it more economical for existing electric vehicle drivers to stay on the platform, and we want to be able to match the commitments we’ve made overseas right here at home.