Uber Green offers Aussies no- or low-emission rides around town
Aussie-first agreement with bp pulse will bring EV charging discounts to drivers and delivery people
Uber Eats commits to zero-emission delivery trips by 2040 and sustainable packaging for restaurant orders by 2030
Overnight in London, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi unveiled a spate of new products and initiatives at the company’s first-ever Go/Get Zero event, focusing on the platform’s ambition to become a zero-emissions platform by 2040. And from today, Aussies will see their Uber experience become a greener one – whether they’re a rider, eater, driver or restaurant partner.
“Australia’s path to net-zero is going to take a concerted effort from all of us, and Uber is stepping up to play our part,” said Uber ANZ General Manager Dom Taylor. “We know from a number of studies that light vehicles account for around 11 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions*, and we have a responsibility to offer more sustainable choices across our platform and to do our bit in accelerating Australia’s path to zero emissions.”
In the first quarter of 2023, there were 1,250 electric vehicles (EVs) operating on the Uber platform, and riders took more than 567,000 trips in zero-emissions vehicles during the same period. While these figures are encouraging, we know there’s a lot more to be done to achieve our zero-emissions goal.
Uber Green arrives down under
From today, Uber Green is now live across Australia, offering riders a no- or low-emission way to get around town. With Uber Green, Aussies can choose a ride in a hybrid or fully electric vehicle at no extra cost to a standard UberX. All riders need to do is select “Uber Green” from the list of options when booking a ride – it’s that easy!
“We know many Australians want to make greener choices, and this shouldn’t be a choice that impacts convenience or the cost of travel,” said Mr Taylor. “Uber Green is an easy way to make a simple switch that lessens your impact on the planet, and we hope to see thousands of riders across the country make the choice to go greener with Uber.”
The first-ever Uber Green trip in Australia was taken by Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey in Brisbane. Marking the occasion, Minister Bailey said, “As we transition to net zero, we need to bring industry along the journey with us, particularly in emissions-heavy sectors like transport. This is a smart innovation from Uber. It’s through these simple changes in our day-to-day routines that we will reduce our emissions and achieve our net zero target.”
Uber Green is now available to riders in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.
The product is also available to Uber for Business customers, offering business travelers a more sustainable choice. Organisations will also be able to view data on lower-emissions trips taken by employees through the Uber for Business Sustainability Dashboard, helping them progress towards their own sustainability goals.
Aussie-first charging discounts for EV drivers on the platform
Rideshare platforms like Uber can have an outsized impact when it comes to emissions reduction targets; a rideshare driver in an EV realises four times the emissions savings than the average car owner. However, consistent feedback from drivers reveals that the lack of affordable EVs in Australia is a significant barrier in making the switch.
Last year, Uber Australia announced $26 million in incentives to help encourage more drivers to consider driving an EV. And today, Uber is looking to make the economics of driving an EV even more compelling for Aussie drivers.
Uber and bp pulse have signed a memorandum of understanding to build on their global partnership and introduce exclusive incentives and EV charging discounts to drivers across Australia. With the aim to launch by year’s end, Uber drivers will be able to save between 5-8c/kWh on the cost of charging at any bp pulse charging station across the country. The rate of savings will vary based on an individual driver’s Uber Pro tier status.
bp and Uber partnered last year to bring exclusive fuel discounts to drivers in Australia, and to access these new charging benefits, all drivers and delivery people will need to do is register with bp Rewards Unlocked via their Uber Pro account.
“Charging infrastructure and the operational costs of driving an EV is greatly improving in Australia, but we want to do all we can to incentivise our driver and delivery partners to use EV’s when earning on our platform,” said Mr Taylor. “This partnership is a first for rideshare in Australia, and we’re thrilled to build on our partnership with bp that has brought significant savings to drivers over the past year. This is the power of the Uber platform – creating value for our drivers while accelerating our road to zero emissions.”
“We’re bringing the best of our global expertise in EV charging to build Australia’s most convenient EV charging network. Our customers’ mobility and convenience needs are changing, and as we have been over the last 100 years in Australia, we’re on the journey with them,” said Frédéric Baudry, president, bp Australia and SVP fuels & low carbon solutions, Asia Pacific. “This new deal for Uber drivers builds on our great existing relationship, and we look forward to welcoming Uber EV drivers to take advantage of bp’s great retail offers.”
Uber Eats to tackle emissions and packaging waste with major commitments
Back in London, Uber also announced it is expanding its global zero-emissions commitment to include Uber Eats. Uber Eats will work to eliminate emissions on all deliveries globally by 2040 as well as removing all unnecessary plastic waste in a switch to sustainable packaging for restaurant deliveries by the end of this decade.
Driven by a goal to be an industry leader in sustainability, Uber Eats will make it easier for restaurant partners to shift from single-use plastic towards more sustainable options. This includes reusable, recyclable, compostable and sustainably-sourced, bio-based packaging through global and local partnerships making these options more accessible – and affordable – to the more than 50,000 restaurants on the Uber Eats platform across Australia and New Zealand.
“Emissions and plastic waste are massive challenges to tackle for the entire sector, but we are confident we can work in concert with partners locally and globally to create a more sustainable delivery ecosystem,” said Uber Eats General Manager ANZ, Bec Nyst, “My team is committed to progress on both sides of the Tasman, which is why I will soon announce multiple initiatives, purpose built for our communities in Australia and Aotearoa. These programs will be collaborative, local by design and channel the lessons we’ve already gleaned from half a billion deliveries across ANZ.”
Carshare goes global
Back in London, Uber announced that home-grown Aussie startup Uber Carshare (formerly Car Next Door) will be expanding internationally to Canada and the United States, launching soon in Toronto and Boston. Uber has made it effortless for millions of people around the world to tap a button and get a ride on demand. Now, we’re bringing our technology to peer-to-peer carshare to help people easily borrow a car for the times they need one, so they don’t need to own one.
“We couldn’t be more excited to see what began as a bold experiment – to disrupt Australia’s one person, one car mentality – grow into a global movement,” said Will Davies, Uber Carshare CEO. “Over the past decade, we’ve been humbled by how Aussies have embraced carsharing, and we can’t wait to see the car-light lifestyle take off internationally with the expansion of Uber Carshare.”
Read more about Uber’s sustainability commitments and initiatives here.