Uber, the US-based transportation conglomerate, has unveiled new sustainability measures at a product launch in London. The company announced it will start advising drivers on where and when to charge their electric cars, and it will give passengers discounts for EV trips to and from airports.
Additionally, the company shared its plans to get Uber Eats restaurants to switch to environmentally friendly packaging by 2030. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi urged that they want to make it effortless for riders and drivers to go sustainable and that everyone should be able to achieve a low-emissions lifestyle. In line with these initiatives, it is crucial for Uber to constantly evaluate and evolve its corporate sustainability strategy, ensuring that their actions remain effective and aligned with emerging environmental trends and challenges.
Alleviating EV ‘charging anxiety’ to persuade more to rent or buy EVs
One crucial part of Uber’s sustainability push is to inspire more drivers to rent or buy EVs. However, many drivers are apprehensive about both the high initial costs of EVs, but also ‘charging anxiety’. This anxiety is associated with waiting in line to use chargers, finding chargers, aborting or cancelling a ride halfway through due to a lack of charge, and missing out on business whilst their vehicle is being charged.
As a means to alleviate this anxiety, Uber has introduced an EV hub on its driver app. The hub consists of information regarding prices, models, and charging. Uber has also simultaneously begun hosting events so that drivers can test EVs and get a feel for them. This app will also enable drivers to find nearby EV chargers and get information surrounding availability, wattage, and prices.
Drivers will also be able to connect their car to their Uber app and get real-time recommendations, as to when to avail of their charging break based on charging prices, expected ride demand, and charge. They will also be rolling out a ‘battery-aware matching’, which will unveil drivers’ trips they can do with their current charge level. This means they do not have to abandon or cancel rides to charge their vehicles.
Encourage passengers to pick EVs
Uber’s efforts are not just focused on drivers; they are also trying to encourage passengers to choose EVs. The company will be introducing a green curb feature at airports, which will allow riders who opt for EVs to get lower fairs and be collected and dropped off at designated zones.
Customers will also be able to see the impact of their positive choice in the app. They will see the emissions they avoided by choosing to ride in an EV. Uber introduced a new algorithm last year which uncovered more sustainable routes for drivers by avoiding traffic lights and hills where possible without making the journey longer or charging riders more money.
Summary – Other sustainability goals for Uber
Uber also has shared two new sustainability goals for Uber Eats in particular. These include all couriers on the platform driving zero-emission vehicles by 2040, but also all restaurants using environmentally friendly packaging by 2030.
Diners will also be able to filter and select restaurants that use sustainable packaging on the Uber Eats app. It is hoped that these changes will not only reduce the company’s ecological footprint but encourage riders and diners to switch to more sustainable options, too.