Uber is launching a new environmental initiative to add more electric vehicles to its fleet, starting with the city of Portland, the company says.
Uber Electric is a partnership between Uber, Drive Oregon, Black Parent Initiative, Cynergy E-Bikes, and the electric vehicle industry. The program will add hundreds of electric vehicles to Oregon’s transportation mix through the Uber driver partner network. Uber says the partnerships will help “jumpstart the EV industry.”
Uber claims that currently, about 100 out of 6,000 drivers – around 1.6% – in the city use electric cars. Uber plans to extend that number to 10% by 2019, writes Willamette Week.
The initiative includes plans to purchase and lease electric vehicles, and to train drivers as “EV ambassadors,” who they expect to educate riders about the benefits of electric vehicles.
Another way Uber claims that it is an environmentally friendly company is its “Uber Pool” initiative. By matching people headed in the same direction, Uber Pool turns what would normally be multiple rides into a single trip. In Los Angeles and Chengdu, two of Uber’s busiest cities, more than a quarter of trips are Uber Pool trips, the company says.