The globally popular ride-hailing company Uber have announced that In an attempt to tackle air pollution in London, all its drivers will be made to use hybrid or fully-electric cars by 2020. This decision comes as part of its Clean Air Plan to help decrease air pollution levels in the Capital. You are right to assume that Uber have taken quite a few steps in the right, greener direction already, like by having just under 50% of all of its driver’s using Toyota Prius or another hybrid or electric car. However, bearing in mind that the company currently has over 40,000 licensed London drivers under its belt, further measures to reduce air pollution must be carried out.

Why London?

London has been given priority in the introduction of air pollution alleviation plans by the company, mostly due to the fact that the capital faces such severe challenge from air pollution and highly toxic vehicle emissions, that allegedly cause around 9,500 deaths per year. Recent findings have revealed that London has been breaching the legal vehicle emission levels very early into the beginning of the year, meaning that the final breached levels would add up to eye watering counts.

What is the plan?

As well as promising to ban all diesel fuelled cars on the app within the next three years, Uber will also remove the UberXL option for large cars. This option would of course be re-introduced once a much greener option for cars of such size would be introduced. With London leading the way in Uber’s green plan, other UK cities, where less electric Uber cars operate already will follow the scheme and be made to reach the 100 percent goal by 2022. To make sure that they are doing everything in their power to reduce air pollution within the capital, Uber have also announced that by 2025 it will require all of its drivers operating in London to only be using fully electric or hybrid cars.

How will they do it?

Now you may be wondering how Uber is planning to achieve these goals within such tight timeline, their approach is in fact quite clever. Fred Jones who is the head of UK cities explained that the 40,000 licensed London drivers will receive financial assistance to aid their switch. Grants of up to £5,000 will be given towards hybrid or fully electric cars. The leading ride-hailing company will provide £2m towards the push, while the users of the app will also be made to contribute to the plan, through a 35p surcharge imposed on all trips completed in London from this October onward.

To highlight their green approach even further, Uber announced that it will launch a scrappage scheme, where by the first 1,000 Londoners, who own pre-Euro 4 diesel cars released before 2005, will be offered £1,500 credit in the app in exchange to their old cars.