Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi put sustainability goals front and center in today's press conference.
This goal may be especially important because, according to a 2020 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, "taxi services produce 70% more emissions than the vehicles they replace."
According to the protocol, one of the key barriers to this transition is the cost of owning an electric vehicle.
At the Electric Vehicle Center, drivers will be able to compare the cost of owning an electric vehicle and a car with an internal combustion engine. Uber drivers in the US who transition to electric vehicles can also take advantage of exclusive discounts on electric vehicles from General Motors and Nissan, or discounts from local certified dealers on new and used electric vehicles through TrueCar. Electric car rental or leasing deals for Uber drivers are also available through Avis, Hertz and other providers.
Uber will also offer a $1 per ride zero emission car incentive for U.S. EV drivers for every ride they take, up to $4,000 per year. Discounts are also available on home chargers and on the use of the EVgo charging network.
Uber Travel for Events and Simplified Trip Planning
Khosrowshahi also introduced three new tourism services.
Uber Travel will allow users to organize hotel, flight and restaurant reservations on the Uber app and customize trips for each leg of the trip by connecting their Gmail account to the app. Jen Yu, head of mobile products at Uber, explained that changes can be made through updates in Gmail or entered manually in the Uber app. If a flight is delayed, Uber Travel will recognize this and adjust the transfer accordingly.
Customers will receive 10% in Uber Cash for every ride they book with Uber Travel.
Another new Uber Carter service will allow customers to book party buses, passenger vans or tour buses directly from the Uber app at a pre-set price. The program will begin in the US this summer.
For larger events, such as weddings and business meetings, the voucher can be set up in advance with Uber for guests to use.