Uber UK

Uber UK Mandates Electric Cars from Late 2019


Uber UK has laid down the law – all Uber drivers operating in London from late 2019 onwards must have electric or hybrid cars.

LONDONERS using Uber transport from 2020 – that’s barely two years away – will be travelling in quieter, cleaner cars, because Uber UK has told its 40,000 drivers in the Brit capital to switch to hybrid or electric cars by the end of 2019.

It will also ban diesel-powered cars from its fleet by that date.

Also, by New Year’s Day, 2022, every Uber car the 50 or so cities where it operates throughout Britain, will also have to be hybrid or electric powered.

However, the hybrids in London will have a pretty short life with Uber, which is aiming at an electric-only fleet by 2025.

It will start a $245million clean-air fund for grants to help its drivers make the transition and apply a small surcharge to every ride.

Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have already announced plans to ban diesels in their central city areas and Angela Merkel is having talks with leaders of 30 of Germany’s biggest cities in a bid to minimise diesel fumes.

The Uber move follows its all-electric vehicle programs in China, Portugal and South Africa and last year it partnered with Nissan for a pilot project in London with 20 all-electric Leafs, a move that has steadily blossomed.

“Air pollution is a growing problem,” Uber UK chief Fred Jones said.

“We’re determined to play our part in tackling it with this bold plan.”

But the banning diesel cars in European cities could hamper the ability of carmakers to invest in zero-emission vehicles, the European Union has warned.

Euro bloc commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said there would be no benefit in a collapse of the market for diesel cars and that the short-term focus should be on bringing dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions in line with EU regulations.

“Policymakers and industry cannot have an interest in a rapid collapse of the diesel market in Europe,” she said.

“It would only deprive the industry of necessary funds to invest in zero-emissions vehicles.”

Bill Buys fell in love with cars at age 8, when he saw one of his relatives racing in a Bugatti in South Africa. He has driven, raced and/or rallied just about every vehicle from Autobianchi to Zundapp since he was first published in the UK’s Motor Sport magazine, in 1956. He is now probably Australia’s oldest (or, if you prefer, most experienced) motoring writer.