Uber goes full throttle on electric vehicles | Greenbiz

This article is sponsored by Amazon.

Uber, the world’s largest mobility platform, is committed to being a zero-emissions all-electric platform by 2030 in the US, Canada and Europe and 2040 globally, with 100% of journeys made in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit or with micromobility (such as electric scooters and bicycles).

Sally Fouts, Amazon’s Global Leader for The Climate Pledge, spoke with Thibaud Simphal, Uber’s new Global Head of Sustainability, to learn more about the company’s aggressive climate goals, plans to help drivers to switch to electric vehicles, the expansion of micromobility and its advice for other transport and mobility companies interested in prioritizing climate solutions.

Sally Fouts: You are already transitioning thousands of drivers to electric vehicles (EVs) through your Green Future program. Tell us about that.

Thibaud Simfal: Helping drivers equitably switch to electric vehicles is an important part of building the future of sustainable mobility. Research shows that when rideshare drivers switch to electric vehicles, they can reduce emissions three to four times compared to the average car owner.

Our Green Future program provides access to resources worth $800 million to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2025. These resources include new revenue opportunities for drivers of greener and electric vehicles, such as Uber Green (a low-emissions driving option) and incentives to encourage them to go all-electric, such as negotiated discounts and savings on electric vehicles and vehicle charging electrical.

For example, we’ve partnered with Hertz to offer up to 50,000 all-electric Tesla rentals to drivers in the United States by 2023, and we’ve partnered with Wallbox and Greenlots (soon to become Shell Recharge Solutions) to offer drivers using Uber in the San Francisco Bay Area and Vancouver, British Columbia, access to affordable home charging solutions.

Don’t: Uber plans to operate as a zero-emission mobility platform in the United States, Canada and Europe by 2030. That’s huge. How are you going to get there?

Simphal: Uber is leading the industry towards zero emissions by focusing on three key actions:

  1. Help drivers go electric as quickly as possible,
  2. Enable consumers to choose green and car-free products, and;
  3. Being transparent about our climate impact each year so that we are accountable for improvement.

Use of electric vehicles on Uber has more than doubled in the year since our zero emissions commitment, and we are already seeing significant progress in cities like London, where more than 1km in 10km on our application are now fully electric. London is a great example of how quickly electrification can scale when you have a strong partnership with private and public leaders.

Fouts: How do you convey the importance of zero-emission vehicles and a zero-carbon future to drivers and drivers?

Simphal: Education is a crucial part of our efforts. When we speak with EV drivers, we hear that they are extremely satisfied with having chosen to drive an EV on the Uber platform. But there is still a lot of education to be done for drivers and pilots. In Europe, we launched an EV Ambassador program, as well as webinars and events. We’ve also worked with third parties to offer drivers a total cost of ownership calculator, customizable down to the city level, so a driver can see what EV incentives are available to them. It even helps drivers do a side-by-side running cost comparison between their current vehicle and an electric vehicle.

Plus, we’ve given cyclists around the world access to sustainable mobility products. Seeing is believing, and one of the best ways for people to learn about electric vehicles is to drive one. As the number of Uber EV drivers increases, passengers gain first-hand experience with them. Uber Green is now available in more than 100 major urban markets across multiple continents and in more than a dozen countries, making it the world’s most widely available on-demand mobility solution for zero- and low-emission rides. .


Fouts: And what about your micromobility options?

Simphal: We currently offer passengers in 170 global metropolitan markets access to in-app car-free options, including mopeds, bicycles and electric scooters. We also offer transit products in over 40 major markets, including transit trip planning (the comparison of time and cost between options when selecting your route in the app) and first and last mile solutions for transit agencies.

We must continue to develop products that make it easy for people to maintain a car-free or car-light lifestyle. Being able to pick up an electric bike or scooter at the push of a button is changing the way people get around cities. They’re also expanding access to other ways to go green, like making a bus or train stop that was too far of a walk suddenly much closer.

By providing a variety of ways to get from point A to point B, we can facilitate healthy urban living and reduce reliance on car ownership.

Fouts: And in the office? Beyond electrifying your entire transportation fleet, what are Uber’s key sustainability goals for corporate operations and headquarters?

Simphal: We are committed to achieving net-zero emissions for all business activities by 2030 and total net-zero climate emissions for scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2040.

We currently factor environmental considerations into the selection of workplaces, data center strategy and planning, and when choosing the vendors we work with.

In the United States, we have committed to powering our offices with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and we are making great progress. At our Phoenix center, 100% of the electricity comes from renewable energy, and in Texas, we recently signed a purchase agreement with Enel Green Power’s Azure Sky wind farm. Having sustainable offices and operations is not only good for our planet, it’s good for our employees.


Don’t: Do you have anything else to share with us?

Simphal: We deeply appreciate the incredible work being done by Climate Pledge companies and political leaders around the world. Climate action is a team sport and it will take the public and private sectors working together to deliver change at the speed and scale we need. As the world’s largest mobility platform, Uber will continue to work hard to do its part to meet its ambitious climate goals. We look forward to partnering with businesses and governments to effect broader change.

Don’t: What advice would you give to other transportation and mobility companies interested in aggressively prioritizing climate solutions?

Simphal: There’s no time to lose. Hire experts, set ambitious goals, build your plan and hold yourself accountable by publishing your carbon impact every year. We can make so much progress much faster if the industry acts collectively.

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