Uber Drivers in London Will Get $6,600 Incentive if They Switch to EVs

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Photo: Uber
Most governments these days offer significant financial incentives to anyone who buys a new electric vehicle in an attempt to encourage people to make the switch to zero emissions vehicles.
Some see this as a subsidy (which it essentially is) and think it's wrong as it intervenes in a free market and creates an advantage for one type of fuel compared to another, but those people fail to realize how heavily subsidized the oil industry has been over the years.

The move has been more successful in some places than in others, one example being Norway where the VAT exemption (25 percent) has led to the Scandinavian country setting EV adoption rate records with over 40 percent of new cars registered last month there having chargeable battery on board (either plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicles, then).

While there's still a debate going on over just how eco-friendly an electric car really is, there's no denying the fact that there is no pollution coming out of its absent tail pipes. That means that even if energy production isn't green (even though its share is increasing steadily), by encouraging more people to drive battery-powered vehicles you are effectively clearing the air inside the cities.

A lot of this world's urban agglomerations (particularly in Europe, where diesel engines on passenger cars were allowed to proliferate) are accusing very high levels of air pollution due to the heavy traffic. The authorities have taken measures to curb the emissions, but any solution requires time.

It looks as though Uber is jumping in on the efforts in London by offering a significant incentive to any of its drivers that buy and use an electric vehicle. The company is willing to spend up to $200 million and it has announced the introduction of a 35p ($0.45) extra charge for every ride in the British capital city to support this effort, apart from contributing with £2 million from the off.

The drivers would get up to £5,000 ($6,000) when they replace their fossil fuel-burning car with an EV. Uber's goal is to have all of its London drivers - 40,000 of them at the moment - switch to EVs and hybrids by 2025. With the incentives piling up and the low running cost of an electric car, Uber's initiative might actually succeed.

"Air pollution is a growing problem and we're determined to play our part," Fred Jones, Uber's Head of UK Cities said, quoted by Engadget. "Londoners already know many cars on our app are hybrids, but we want to go much further and go all electric in the capital."
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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