Uber has pledged to make its fleet of London cars electric-only by 2025 as part of a multi-million pound clean air plan.
Under the scheme, the ride-hailing firm will offer drivers £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their vehicles to a more environmentally-friendly model.
The phase out of petrol and diesel engines begins with a commitment to make UberX cars in London 100 per cent hybrid or fully-electric by the end of 2019. The firm is aiming to roll out the same standard across the UK by 2022.
The move comes as Transport for London is reviewing whether to grant Uber a new five year licence to operate in the capital. Its licence was renewed in May but only for four months.
The plans were welcomed by a spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs: “It is encouraging to see industry take the initiative as we move towards ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.”
The £2m fund will be launched next month and is set to grow by 35p every time someone takes an Uber in the capital. The extra charge will be added to every trip, excluding UberPool journeys, which passengers share with other users.
Uber has also created a diesel scrappage fund to remove 1,000 polluting cars from London’s roads. It will give £1,500 worth of Uberpool credit to incentivise 1,000 Londoners to scrap their pre-Euro 4 diesel vehicles.
Air pollution causes more than 9,000 premature deaths a year in London.