In 2017, Uber announced its plans to be fully electric in London by 2025. Now the service has taken a new step toward achieving that goal: it has partnered with UK-based car manufacturer Arrival to create an electric car specifically for ride-hailing. The companies are designing an affordable EV that focuses on driver comfort since ride-hailing cars travel many more miles than private cars while providing a premium experience for passengers.
Prior to this collaboration, Arrival worked on electric vans and buses for business use. People in North America and Europe could see them in action in the near future, as UPS already placed an order for 10,000 of its newly unveiled electric vans. According to TechCrunch, Arrival is entering the electric car field for the first time and will consult and work with Uber drivers to pull a design out of the hat that meets the partnership’s criteria. The companies have released mock-ups of what the EV might look like (see above and below), but they won’t reveal the final design until late 2021 at the earliest. They expect the Arrival EV to enter production in the third quarter of 2023.
Uber drivers in London can apply for EV assistance under the Clean Air Plan if they want to use an electric vehicle for the service. Indeed, the company has raised £135 million to support drivers with the cost of switching vehicles. Uber has not elaborated on when and how drivers can request an Arrival car, but it will likely be an option when it becomes available. Drivers who switch to EVs will also benefit from Uber Green, the option that allows passengers to specifically request all-electric vehicles. The EV ride service expanded to 1,400 new North American cities and towns in January and came to London in March.
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