Uber wants to electrify quicker than the rest of the market, and Europe is electrifying pretty darn fast. So, Uber’s got to get moving. Solution: Hyundai.
Hyundai is apparently looking to move product, or just happy to help, and is offering the Kona Electric and IONIQ Electric to Uber drivers with a discount. There’s a formal partnership between the two companies, so these are presumably real discounts.
How fast does Uber want to electrify? It wants to be a completely zero-emissions company by 2030. In 7 European capitals where the company estimates 80% of European Uber kilometers will be taking place by the end of 2021¹, the goal is for 50% of those kilometers to be driven by electric vehicles by 2025.
There are various reasons for Uber to try to electrify quickly. One that may get more attention behind closed doors than publicly is the risk of citywide bans on petrol and/or diesel vehicles in major European cities — or even simply bans on taxis and related vehicles using internal combustion engines (ICE). Getting ahead of the game and getting some momentum on electrification, Uber would be more ready than others to adapt if city bans come sooner than anticipated if it is able to get a sizable portion of drivers to go electric now.
One feature Uber, unfortunately, has taken a long time to implement is the ability to choose an electric car (if they’re around) when you order a car. Now you have that ability … in Europe, at least..
There’s no real detail on how much of a discount is being offered, but here’s more commentary from Hyundai and Uber:
“Through this exciting partnership, we will utilise our leadership in electro-mobility to help Uber’s partner drivers make the switch to BEVs and help electrify their customers’ journeys in Europe,” says Michael Cole, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe. “This agreement also gives Hyundai the opportunity to showcase the benefits of our IONIQ Electric and Kona Electric models to an even wider range of people, as well as contribute to decarbonisation efforts in major cities across Europe.”
“With our responsibilities to drivers, riders and cities in mind, we have made a series of ambitious commitments to support drivers switch to electric vehicles, and this partnership will enable us to continue this momentum, Professional drivers such as those on the Uber app will be the early mass adopters of electric vehicles, which will help to drive the mass market in the years to come,” Anabel Diaz, Regional Manager for EMEA, Uber, says.
Aside from the above, Hyundai and Uber plan to work together on marketing/education campaigns around electric vehicles in Europe. They are also hosting test drives of electric cars for professional Uber drivers.
¹ Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid, and Paris.