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Uber goes greener with low emissions rides now available

Uber has made major announcements, now vowing to go greener in Australia through its rideshare, Uber Eats and industry partnership sectors

In London, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi unveiled a spate of new products and initiatives at the company’s first-ever Go/Get Zero event, focusing on the platform’s ambition to become a zero-emissions platform by 2040.

From this week, Aussies will see their Uber experience become a greener one – whether they’re a rider, eater, driver or restaurant partner.

“Australia’s path to net-zero is going to take a concerted effort from all of us and Uber is stepping up to play our part,” Uber ANZ general manager Dom Taylor says.   

“We know from a number of studies that light vehicles account for around 11 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and we have a responsibility to offer more sustainable choices across our platform and to do our bit in accelerating Australia’s path to zero emissions.” 

In the first quarter of 2023, there were 1,250 electric vehicles (EVs) operating on the Uber platform and riders took more than 567,000 trips in zero-emissions vehicles during the same period. While these figures are encouraging, Uber says it knows there’s a lot more to be done to achieve its zero-emissions goal.

From this week, Uber Green is now live across Australia, offering riders a no- or low-emission way to get around town. With Uber Green, Aussies can choose a ride in a hybrid or fully electric vehicle at no extra cost to a standard UberX. All riders need to do is select “Uber Green” from the list of options when booking a ride.

“We know many Australians want to make greener choices, and this shouldn’t be a choice that impacts convenience or the cost of travel,” Taylor says.

“Uber Green is an easy way to make a simple switch that lessens your impact on the planet, and we hope to see thousands of riders across the country make the choice to go greener with Uber.”

The first-ever Uber Green trip in Australia was taken by Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey in Brisbane. Marking the occasion, Bailey says transport is a key way of bringing industry along in the journey to net-zero.

“This is a smart innovation from Uber. It’s through these simple changes in our day-to-day routines that we will reduce our emissions and achieve our net zero target,” Bailey says.

Uber Green is now available to riders in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. 

The product is also available to Uber for Business customers, offering business travellers a more sustainable choice. Organisations will also be able to view data on lower-emissions trips taken by employees through the Uber for Business Sustainability Dashboard, helping them progress towards their own sustainability goals.

Uber and bp pulse have signed a memorandum of understanding to build on their global partnership and introduce exclusive incentives and EV charging discounts to drivers across Australia.

With the aim to launch by year’s end, Uber drivers will be able to save between 5-8c/kWh on the cost of charging at any bp pulse charging station across the country. The rate of savings will vary based on an individual driver’s Uber Pro tier status.

“Charging infrastructure and the operational costs of driving an EV is greatly improving in Australia, but we want to do all we can to incentivise our driver and delivery partners to use EV’s when earning on our platform,” Taylor says.

“This partnership is a first for rideshare in Australia, and we’re thrilled to build on our partnership with bp that has brought significant savings to drivers over the past year. This is the power of the Uber platform – creating value for our drivers while accelerating our road to zero emissions.”

Back in London, Uber also announced it is expanding its global zero-emissions commitment to include Uber Eats. Uber Eats will work to eliminate emissions on all deliveries globally by 2040 as well as removing all unnecessary plastic waste in a switch to sustainable packaging for restaurant deliveries by the end of this decade.

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