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Uber launches plug-in car grant and diesel scrappage scheme

Uber launches plug-in car grant and diesel scrappage scheme
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Tristan Shale-Hester

2018-10-23 13:45

London Uber drivers can claim up to £4,500 off the cost of a new EV, with grant funded by new 15p-per-mile “clean air fee”

Uber driver - driving

Uber is introducing a plug-in car grant to help its drivers in London upgrade to EVs (electric vehicles), as well as a diesel scrappage scheme for owners of pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicles.

The grant will be funded by customers paying a “clean air fee” of 15p per mile on all London journeys from early 2019 onwards. Uber estimates the fee will add 45p to the cost of an average journey in the capital.

But while the plug-in car grant will only be available to Uber drivers, the company’s diesel scrappage scheme will be open to anyone with a pre-Euro 4 diesel living in London when it launches in early 2019.

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The scrappage scheme will give those disposing of such cars up to £1,500 of credit to spend on Uber rides. You’ll have to be quick, though, as only 1,000 scrappage incentives will be available once the scheme starts next year. The two schemes are part of the company’s Clean Air Plan, which aims to make every Uber taxi in London fully electric by 2025.

The plug-in car grant will be based on how many miles each Uber driver in the capital has covered on the app. For example, a driver working for an average of 40 hours per week could expect to receive £3,000 in two years’ time or £4,500 in three years.

The company expects to raise around £200m to help its drivers make the switch to EVs “over the next few years”, with the expectation that 20,000 will have upgraded by the end of 2021.

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Uber is also working with a number of third parties – including ChargePoint, Chargemaster and Pod Point – to offer more rapid charging stations in central London and affordable charging options for its drivers’ homes.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, commented: “Our £200m Clean Air Plan is a long-term investment in the future of London, aimed at going all electric in the capital in 2025. Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone, by offering a range of mobility options – whether cars, bikes, scooters or public transport – all in the Uber app.”

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