Leading ride hailing service Uber has announced a Clean Air Fee for its services in London that will see passengers pay 15p extra per mile.
The fee, which will come into effect from Wednesday 16 January, is part of Uber’s Clean Air Plan, and is designed to support the Major of London Sadiq Khan’s wider plans to improve air quality in the UK capital.
Uber says that the money raised will go towards moving all Uber drivers to electric vehicles by 2025. This will be achieved initially by helping drivers to upgrade to fully electric cars, with surplus money raised put into clean air schemes and ongoing costs associated with running these electric vehicles.
The fee will affect all trips taken within the M25, with passengers charged per mile for the duration of their journey. They will not be charged for the distances their drivers have to travel to the collection point.
Passengers using Uber’s shared service, Uber POOL, will split the fee between those sharing a ride.
Uber says that although the plan is only being rolled out in London at present, it is keen to expand to other cities.
Uber Clean Air Fee part of a wider plan to woo London
Uber’s Clean Air Fee and the wider Clean Air Plan appear to be part of a concerted effort by the ride-sharing giant to develop and maintain a positive relationship with London’s lawmakers.
This is particularly important in light of the fact that the company has butted heads with the British legal system over its definition of its workers, and briefly lost its licence to operate in London last year.
Given that clean air has become such a focus for London’s lawmakers, the promise to ensure all 45,000 Uber drivers operating in the capital are doing so in electric vehicles by 2025 is clearly key to wooing Khan and his colleagues into backing the company’s presence in the city.
However, the with mayor previously saying he wanted to reduce the number of Uber drivers operating in the city, it remains to be seen if Uber’s clean air gambit will pay off.