Ride-hailing titan, Uber, has announced all fares in London will incur a surcharge from 2019 onwards.
The fee, expected to be 15p, is aimed at giving its drivers the additional means to Purchase Electric Vehicles. London, a city beset by heavy air pollution, already charges drivers of more polluting vehicles certain tariffs, in a bid to incentivise people to purchase electric vehicles.
It is thought the average Uber driver will make around £1,500 extra a year from the surcharge.
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said Uber’s recognition on the importance of clean air was a “positive step”.
She added: “Electric cars are not a complete solution. We also need to address the damaging impact that the rising number of private hire vehicles has on congestion and air pollution.”
Professor David Bailey, an expert in industrial strategy from Aston University, said the move was a “welcome first step”.
“Uber is not doing this out of the goodness of its heart,” he told the BBC, explaining that larger London plans to clean up the capital’s air will put more and more restrictions on the types of vehicles that can pass through it.
“If they don’t act they risk not having any drivers or customers,” he said.
“The move to electric cars is going to happen anyway and they want to be seen to be playing their part,” said Prof Bailey.
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