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Hailing a Tesla: Uber strikes deal to let London drivers access electric vehicles through Clean Air Plan

·2-min read
A Tesla Model 3 (AP)
A Tesla Model 3 (AP)

Uber has struck a deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla that will let Londondrivers access the electric vehicles.

Uber said its London drivers could now use funds saved through its Clean Air plan fees to buy or lease Teslas.

Uber has pledged to make every car on its platform electric in London by 2025 to help improve air quality in the capital and limit environmental impact. The ride hailing app introduced a 15p per mile Clean Air fee on trips in 2019 to help fund the transition to electric vehicles.

Each driver builds up their own savings pot from the fees that they can put towards an electric vehicle. The average pot is between £3,000 and £4,000 and drivers have collectively saved £135 million.

Uber reduced the Clean Air fee to 3p a mile earlier this year in order to nudge drivers to use the pots for changing vehicles, rather than simply saving them. Electric vehicles usage has doubled since then and 90% of new cars joining the platform are EVs.

4,000 Ubers in London are now fully electric, the company said, up from just 100 when the Clean Air plan was launched. The app has around 45,000 drivers on its platform in London.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said:“Uber drivers are switching to electric vehicles at a much faster rate than the mass market, thanks to the lower running costs and greater earning potential of driving in an EV.

“There is still a lot of work to do to drive a green recovery and clean up urban transport, but the progress we are seeing in London is significant and as a city we are leading the way globally.”

As well as Teslas, Uber drivers can use Clean Air fee savings to buy or lease electric vehicles from Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia.

The tie-up with Tesla follows a similar deal with car rental company Hertz in the US. Hertz said it had ordered 100,000 vehicles from Tesla, although boss Elon Musk later claimed no contract had been signed.

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