Uber has invested £5 million for the installation of over 700 electric vehicle chargers across North and East London.
The agreement between three London boroughs, Newham, Brent, and Redbridge, will see hundreds of fast on-street EV chargers installed, boosting the capital’s overall charging network by over 7%.
Uber worked closely with the three boroughs to determine where chargers should be installed, and the units will aim to improve access for those without driveways or home chargers.
According to Uber, London’s concentration of EV chargers is currently highest in central and west London, with over a quarter of chargers in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham. This has resulted in high-demand for charging points in North and East London.
The investment is the first time that boroughs have worked with a ride-hailing company to directly install chargers on London’s streets. The chargers will be Uber branded and available for everyone to use.
Jamie Heywood, Uber general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe said: “Drivers often tell me that being able to access reliable charging near their homes is critical to their decision to switch to an electric vehicle.
“By targeting investment where it is most needed, we are confident that thousands more drivers will make the switch to electric, allowing them to benefit from lower running costs and higher earnings on Uber. Ensuring that everyone can access EV charging will spark a mass transition to electric vehicles and help drive London towards a greener future.”
Imtiaz Elahi, an EV driver from Newham who drives with Uber, said: “I’m seeing more and more drivers change to electric vehicles and I even convinced a few to make the switch myself. But with the uptake of EVs increasing, the number of chargers available on the street needs to keep up. If we want drivers to keep converting to EV we need to improve access to chargers in all London boroughs as well as across the country.”
Later this year, Uber plans to expand its EV-only option ‘Uber Green’ from Zone One to the whole of London – meaning that riders will be able to request an electric vehicle from anywhere in the city for the same price as a normal UberX. Drivers will also earn 13% more when taking trips on Uber Green.
Cllr Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Environment at Brent Council, said: “We are very excited to be embarking on this partnership with Uber that will help increase the number of EV charging points even further in Brent. These charging points will provide greater accessibility for residents who do not have off-street parking, thus helping us promote the use of zero emission vehicles. This partnership is part of a number of initiatives on our journey to achieve zero carbon emissions in Brent by 2030.”