Uber to charge Londoners 'green fare' surcharge to fund hybrid cars

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Londoners hailing Uber cabs will be charged an extra 35p “green fare” for each ride from next month to help pay to convert vehicles to hybrid or fully electric engines by 2020.

The additional payment, which will be shown as a separate item on emailed receipts, will go into a ring-fenced fund which, it is hoped, will eventually top £150 million.

Only rides using the shared uberPool service will be exempt.

Uber drivers with conventional petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles will be able to apply for up to £5,000 each from the fund to help pay for the work needed. Uber said it has contributed £2 million.

The fund is one of the measures in a “Clean Air Plan” announced today by the US-owned company, which said it wants all 40,000 Uber vehicles in London to be hybrid or electric by the end of 2019.

It is aiming for every vehicle accessible through the app in the capital to be electric by 2025. 

​Uber also launched a diesel scrappage scheme for the first 1,000 Londoners who apply. They will be given £1,500 to spend on Uber journeys in exchange for taking their pre-2005 diesel vehicles off the road. 

Fred Jones, Uber’s head of UK cities, said: “Air pollution is a growing problem and we’re determined to play our part in tackling it.”

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs welcomed the initiative, and Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Uber’s plan is a great contribution to reducing toxic air pollution.”


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