If you own a diesel and drive with Uber, your days are numbered, but you could get some cash for changing cars.
In the longer term, the U.S. company said that by 2025 all of its cars in London must be fully electric or a plug-in hybrid, on which the battery typically lasts about 40 miles before switching to petrol. The company's goal is for all of its uberX vehicles in the United Kingdom to be hybrid or fully electric by 2022.
The grants will be funded with £2m from the company but users of the app will also pay for the switchover, through a 35p surcharge imposed on all London trips from October.
"Air pollution is a growing problem and we're determined to play our part", Fred Jones, Uber's Head of UK Cities said.
To meet these ambitious targets, Uber has unveiled a "Clear Air Plan" that includes a new "Clean Air Fund", a diesel auto scrappage scheme and an EV charger network in London.
The move has been more successful in some places than in others, one example being Norway where the Value-Added Tax exemption (25 percent) has led to the Scandinavian country setting EV adoption rate records with over 40 percent of new cars registered last month there having chargeable battery on board (either plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicles, then). "We're also aiming for every vehicle on the Uber app in London to be electric by 2025".
In the coming weeks a network of Uber-branded rapid chargers will be installed in central London, which it said would initially be dedicated for the sole use Uber's electric vehicle drivers.
While hybrids such as the Toyota Prius have become synonymous with the ride-hailing service, today just under half of its London UberX drivers have an electrified vehicle. "Our scrappage scheme will also take polluting vehicles off the road and encourage Londoners to get into a shared auto to connect with public transport instead".
"This is a much needed step from Uber which will aid London's air quality", said Beard.
While there's still a debate going on over just how eco-friendly an electric vehicle really is, there's no denying the fact that there is no pollution coming out of its absent tail pipes. "To bring down our carbon emissions, and achieve our Paris Agreement goals, companies and the UK Government need to move beyond conventional hybrids, which offer limited benefits, and focus on plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles".