Uber has announced that it is adding 14 new markets to its Comfort Electric program, which allows users to hail electric vehicles (EVs) such as Tesla Model 3, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Polestar 2. The service has already launched in California and has been expanded to 25 US markets. The vehicles available through Comfort Electric are different to those in Uber Green, which includes hybrid vehicles in addition to EVs. While the Comfort Electric rides cost more than a standard UberX, Uber is offering a 25 percent discount on two rides until April 30th with coupon code “GOELECTRIC”.
In addition, Uber has pledged to spend $800m in support of its driver’s transition to EVs, including partnering with Hertz to supply EVs and offering perks to drivers choosing to use electric. The Zero Emissions incentive will allow EV drivers to earn an additional $1 on every trip or up to $4,000 per calendar year. Uber has set a target of phasing out gas-powered vehicles by 2030, cutting its carbon emissions in half by 2025 and achieving zero emissions globally by 2040.
The new Comfort Electric markets are Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montreal, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Tampa Bay and Toronto. Uber is also partnering with Lime to offer e-bikes and e-scooters for customers who choose to skip cars altogether.
The move towards EVs reflects Uber’s environmental commitment as well as the shifting trend towards a low-carbon future in transportation. While increasing the usage of EVs in ride-hailing may contribute to reducing carbon emissions, the issue of the source and production of electricity for charging remains a challenge. Nevertheless, the addition of new markets in the Comfort Electric program is likely to enable more riders to opt for a low-emission mode of transportation.
Overall, Uber’s push towards phasing out gas-powered vehicles and electrifying its fleet reflects a broader trend across various industries towards reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability. While challenges remain in achieving a zero-emission transportation system, such moves mark a significant step towards a more sustainable future.