The ride-hailer wants to get a little greener. Uber has announced that by the end of 2019 all of its drivers in London working on its regular low-cost UberX service will use hybrid or fully electric vehicles, and no diesel cars will be allowed on its network. It plans to extend the policy across the U.K. by 2022, and hopes its London fleet will be all-electric by 2025. As part of the move, it will start a new Clean Air Fund, which will help its drivers upgrade to cleaner vehicles, offering them as much as $6,500 to help swap existing fossil fuel cars for electric or hybrid models.
While diesel cars aren’t prevalent in the U.S., they’re prized for their fuel efficiency in Europe, where pump prices are far higher. But there’s an increasing push on the continent to move away from the fuel, because it also produces far larger quantities of soot and nitrogen oxides than gasoline motors. Many cities are banning diesel cars from their roads, and the U.K. has even announced that it will ban the sale of all new combustion engine cars starting in 2040. Clearly, Uber is trying to preempt that—and notch up some rare positive PR points, too.
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