Uber is taking its own initiative in the global push toward electrified vehicles. Fresh off the heels of Jaguar Land Rover’s proclamation that each new car it introduces will be electrified—either hybrid or purely electric—by 2020, the rideshare giant announced that every one of its 40,000 drivers in the London area must use a hybrid or electric car by 2020.
Currently, Uber says just under half meet that requirement.
Diesels will be banned altogether, and by 2025, the target becomes plug-in hybrid or electric.
To help fund such aggressive scale and time targets, Uber is establishing a nearly $200 million fund to aid its drivers as they purchase alternative vehicles. The company is fronting $2.6 million, while the rest of the money will be crowdsourced, in the form of a 46 cent surcharge on every ride.
Further, Uber plans to offer nearly $2,000 in vouchers to anyone with certain older diesels, to encourage sending the cars to junk yards in favor of ridesharing. The concept is loosely similar to so-called scrappage plans that would grant around the same amount to drivers that give up their older vehicles in favor of a newer, more efficient model, but with one key difference. Using that money for ridesharing rather than as a down payment toward a new vehicle makes it much more accessible to a wider swath of the population, and thus more likely to succeed.
Uber says the new policies will extend to the rest of the United Kingdom, and are scheduled to take effect two years later. If the company is successful in its ambitions, it could be the start of a much larger, global effort.