Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has announced a spate of new products and initiatives at the company’s first-ever Go/Get Zero event overnight in London.
One of the big announcements is that Uber is bringing their Uber Green service to Australia.
For those unfamiliar with Uber Green, it is a sustainable ride option that allows you to ride in fully electric vehicles (and hybrids for now).
Booking an Uber Green ride is easy, just open the Uber app and select “Uber Green” from the list of ride options. Note; you may need to scroll down to see it. Once you have selected Uber Green, enter your destination and confirm your pickup location. You will then be matched with a driver in a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Uber Green rides are typically the same price as regular Uber rides. As a test, I used Uber’s price estimator for a route in Melbourne, a 10-minute trip from the State Library Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC to the MCG Avenue & Marathon Way, Jolimont, East Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, 3002.
The price estimator predicts the same cost for Uber Green as UberX, at A$11-12 for the ride. Given most EVs in Australia are new vehicles, with pretty comfortable interiors and there’s less noise inside an EV, I think I’d choose Uber Green every time.
With Australia’s EV adoption growing, we’ll see an increasing number of Uber drivers driving electric vehicles.
Some of the benefits of selecting Uber Green are:
- Reduces air pollution: Electric vehicles produce zero emissions, which helps to improve air quality in cities.
- Supports a more sustainable future: Uber Green is a way to support the transition to a more sustainable transportation system.
- Same great service: Uber Green offers the same great service as regular Uber rides. You can expect to be picked up on time and taken to your destination safely and efficiently.
This move helps Uber progress towards the platform’s ambition to become a zero-emissions platform by 2040.
From today, Aussies will see their Uber experience become a greener one – whether they’re a rider, eater, driver or restaurant partner.
In the first quarter of 2023, there were 1,250 electric vehicles (EVs) operating on the Uber platform, and riders took more than 567,000 trips in zero-emissions vehicles during the same period.
While these figures are encouraging, Uber says there’s a lot more to be done to achieve our zero-emissions goal.
Uber Green arrives down under
Uber Green is now live across Australia, offering riders a no- or low-emission way to get around town. With Uber Green, Aussies can choose a ride in a hybrid or fully electric vehicle at no extra cost to a standard UberX. All riders need to do is select “Uber Green” from the list of options when booking a ride – it’s that easy!
The first-ever Uber Green trip in Australia was taken by Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey in Brisbane.
Uber Green is now available to riders in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.
The product is also available to Uber for Business customers, offering business travelers a more sustainable choice. Organisations will also be able to view data on lower-emissions trips taken by employees through the Uber for Business Sustainability Dashboard, helping them progress towards their own sustainability goals.
Aussie-first charging discounts for EV drivers on the platform
Rideshare platforms like Uber can have an outsized impact when it comes to emissions reduction targets; a rideshare driver in an EV realises four times the emissions savings than the average car owner.
However, consistent feedback from drivers reveals that the lack of affordable EVs in Australia is a significant barrier to making the switch.
Last year, Uber Australia announced $26 million in incentives to help encourage more drivers to consider driving an EV. And today, Uber is looking to make the economics of driving an EV even more compelling for Aussie drivers.
Uber and bp pulse have signed a memorandum of understanding to build on their global partnership and introduce exclusive incentives and EV charging discounts to drivers across Australia.
The aim is to launch a charging discount to Uber drivers by the end of 2023 that will see a reduction of fast-charging costs between 5-8c/kWh. The rate of savings will vary based on an individual driver’s Uber Pro tier status.
bp and Uber partnered last year to bring exclusive fuel discounts to drivers in Australia, and to access these new charging benefits, all drivers and delivery people will need to do is register with bp Rewards Unlocked via their Uber Pro account.
During the GO-GET Zero event, Uber detailed their understanding that moving to EVs will be a big change for their drivers. They explained that they understand an EV needs to recharge and they need to be sensitive to available range when promoting potential jobs to drivers.
The Uber driver app includes an EV Hub that is the one-stop shop for all the information. EV-experienced drivers can become EV Ambassadors that can help answer the questions drivers have when considering the switch.
In the app, drivers can do vehicle comparisons, like the cost of running a Toyota Camry, compared to a Tesla Model 3. This highlights that while the up-front cost is higher for the Model 3 (US$40,240 vs $56,616), by the time you add incentives, fuel/charge differences, insurance and maintenance costs, the total cost of ownership is actually $76,004 for the Camry vs $56,616 for the Tesla Model 3.
Uber also spoke about their international partnership with hire company Hertz, which allows drivers to experiment with an EV, before they commit to purchasing their own EV. It’s clear Uber are serious about getting their drivers to electric vehicles, also offering a different split of the revenue share when Uber drivers go EV.
Uber Eats to tackle emissions and packaging waste with major commitments
Back in London, Uber also announced it is expanding its global zero-emissions commitment to include Uber Eats. Uber Eats will work to eliminate emissions on all deliveries globally by 2040 as well as removing all unnecessary plastic waste in a switch to sustainable packaging for restaurant deliveries by the end of this decade.
Driven by a goal to be an industry leader in sustainability, Uber Eats will make it easier for restaurant partners to shift from single-use plastic towards more sustainable options.
This includes reusable, recyclable, compostable and sustainably-sourced, bio-based packaging through global and local partnerships making these options more accessible – and affordable – to the more than 50,000 restaurants on the Uber Eats platform across Australia and New Zealand.
Carshare goes global
Uber announced that Aussie startup Uber Carshare (formerly Car Next Door) will be expanding internationally to Canada and the United States, launching soon in Toronto and Boston.
Uber has made it effortless for millions of people around the world to tap a button and get a ride on demand. Now, we’re bringing our technology to peer-to-peer carshare to help people easily borrow a car for the times they need one, so they don’t need to own one.
Read more about Uber’s sustainability commitments and initiatives here.
If you missed the event, you can now stream it online below.