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Uber Launches Electric Vehicle Initiative in San Diego

  |   Electric Vehicles

Uber today announced an electric vehicle (EV) initiative that is rolling out in seven U.S. cities, including San Diego. The initiative, which builds on the success of existing pilots in Pittsburgh and Portland, is focused on delivering at least five million EV rides over the next year.


“The aim of the EV Champions Initiative is to increase access to clean electric mobility for the driver-partners and riders who use Uber,” said Adam Gromis, Uber’s global lead on sustainability and environmental impact. “We anticipate this initiative will facilitate at least 5 million Uber EV rides over the next year.”


In addition to San Diego, other cities where the EV Champions Initiative is launching today include, Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle. In each city, Uber is partnering with local EV adoption experts. In select cities, the initiative provides direct monetary incentives for driving EVs on our network. In San Diego, Uber will be providing $1.00 trip-based incentive for PHEV and BEV drivers. In effort with SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program, EV charging stations will also be installed in the coming weeks at Uber’s San Diego Greenlight Hub.


“We applaud Uber’s efforts to expand awareness of electric cars through rideshare,” said Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug In America, a national association representing EV drivers. “EVs provide cleaner air, energy independence, and lower total cost of ownership when factoring incentives. This program will give more people the opportunity to hear the many benefits of electric cars from the drivers who know it best.”


Across the various cities, the Uber EV Champions Initiative consists of several core elements:


  • Access to EV education and resources: Many drivers know about the federal tax credit for EV owners, but there are many state and local programs and incentives that are less widely known. The EV Champions Initiative will help ensure Uber EV driver-partners have the best, most up to date information on all the resources, incentives and programs they can take advantage of in their areas.


  • In-app features built for EV drivers: One of the biggest challenges for EV drivers is “range anxiety”– worrying that the vehicle might run out of charge before making it to a suitable EV charging station. To address this, part of the EV Champions Initiative is the introduction of a 30-minute trip notification for drivers so they can better plan around their charging needs.


  • Advocacy for shared-use EV drivers: Today’s EV infrastructure and resource programs are designed for private car ownership. To shift the conversation towards shared EVs, Uber is committing to increasing advocacy for EV driver-partners.


“Consumers’ lack of awareness about EVs is often a barrier to adopting more electric transportation. That’s why we’re working to make every EV ride requested through our app a remarkable experience,” wrote Gromis in a blog post announcing the EV Champions Initiative. “We’re excited to continue facilitating access to more sustainable transportation around the world. Today’s announcement is another step in that direction.”


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