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Every day, thousands of people use the Uber ridesharing app. Because of that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these types of platforms take a major toll on the environment – and with the rising awareness of our planet’s situation (especially climate change), more and more people want to see something done in this regard.
Uber listened to those concerns and prepared an action plan that will allow them to transition into a zero-emission platform whose drivers only use a hybrid or electric vehicle by 2040. One of the initiatives included in it was the expenditure of Uber Green – and that’s what we will be focusing on today.
In this article, we will talk about Uber’s newest low-emission ride option, called Uber Green, and everything there is to know about it – what it is, how it works, how it differs from other Uber ride options, and more.
What Is Uber Green?
To put it simply, Uber Green is one of the ride options on the Uber app. When you select it, you will be only connected with Uber drivers that drive a fully electric or hybrid vehicle, making it the most environmentally friendly of the ride options available to Uber users.
It is a rather new initiative, as it was only introduced a few years ago, however, its popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all – quite the contrary. With the rising concern for the environment and more people becoming conscious of the importance of being sustainable, we can only expect an increase in people taking green rides.
Where Is Uber Green Available?
Uber is one of the leading ride-sharing apps, operating in more than 80 countries all over the world – however, the green option is not available in all of them. At the moment, you can choose an Uber Green trip in over 1,400 cities all over the world, including major capitals like London or Paris, and major cities like Miami or Austin.
What Cars Qualify for Uber Green
If you want to sign up with Uber and have the chance of being an Uber Green driver, you need to first check whether your car qualifies.
The list of cars that are eligible for Uber Green is long, which is why listing all of them wouldn’t make sense. If you want to check whether the vehicle you drive can be used for Uber Green trips, you can check out this website – the link is set to San Francisco, so you need to change it to your location.
Keep in mind that the list differs depending on the city you want to drive in, which is why you need to check the one that is specific to yours (as long as Uber Green is available there).
Generally speaking, there aren’t many restrictions in terms of the vehicle. The most important thing is that it has to have four doors and that it needs to be able to carry at least four passengers at once. Aside from that, there are no strict limits on the vehicle’s size or capacity.
While listing all of the eligible vehicles would be a mammoth task, we can provide you with a list of the most commonly chosen cars for Uber Green. Those are:
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Nissan Leaf
- Toyota Prius
How Do I Order an Uber Green Trip?
Ordering Uber Green is a pretty straightforward process that, as you do it the same way you would a regular Uber ride. However, in case you are not familiar with the app yet, here is some short instructions on how you can do it:
- Download the app from the App Store or Google Play store.
- Once the app is on your phone, open it. You will see a screen telling you to register. The registration process is easy – you just need to put in information like your name, phone number, e-mail address, etc.
- When you have completed the registration process, you can add the payment options. While you can pay with cash for Uber rides, most people prefer to have their card attached to their Uber profile.
- Now that you’re all set up with your profile, it’s time to order your Uber Green trip. To do that, input the place you want to be picked up from, and your destination.
- Once the details are in, you will be presented with the options for your trip. If Uber Green is available in your location and on the route you need to take, it will be listed among the available options.
- Select Uber Green option and pay for the trip (if you’re paying by card). You will be connected with a driver, and you will be able to see where they are until they pick you up.
- Once the driver picks you up, you will be able to share the details of your trip with others, as well as monitor the route you’re taking.
- After you arrive at your destination, you’ll be asked to rate the driver, as well as give them a tip (which is optional).
That’s all. While ordering Uber Green rides the first few times, it might take some time, but once you get used to it, it should take you no longer than a few seconds.
When Did Uber Green Start?
It all started in 2019 when Uber announced their Clean Air Plan, which was introduced to help London’s pollution. Because of that plan, a Clear Air Fee was added to all trips taken in the Greater London area, to support the drivers’ transition to electric or hybrid vehicles. However, that was just the beginning.
The biggest change in this department happened in the second half of 2020 when Uber’s CEO – Dara Khosrowshahi – announced that the company had decided to become more sustainable globally. Their goal, as they have said themselves, is to become a “zero-emission mobility platform” by 2040. By that time, they want all their rides to be completed by either electric vehicles, public transport, or micro-mobility.
They want all of their rides in the United States, Canada, and Europe to be completed in electric vehicles by 2030 – it’s also by that year that they want to reach zero-emission from their corporate operations. Below, you can find a timeline of what they want to achieve and by what time.
One of the main things that has been done after Uber announced becoming more green was expanding the number of cities in which the low-emission ride option, also known as Uber Green, is available to over 1,400. At the moment, the green option is available in most big cities that Uber operates in, mostly in the United States and European countries.
Introducing Uber Green is just the beginning of its initiatives to become a greener platform, as it is stated on the Uber website – they have many more planned, some of which are already in place.
Here is a short breakdown of all the steps Uber is taking or is planning on taking to become a fully “zero-emission platform” by 2040:
- making thousands of drivers transition to electric vehicles thanks to their Green Future program. Uber is committing over 800 million dollars to help drivers transition to electric vehicles by 2025. They want to achieve that in a few different ways:
- Drivers using a hybrid or electric vehicle earn about $1.50 more per trip than their colleagues using regular cars – $0.50 is included in the price the passenger pays, while a dollar comes from Uber itself.
- Uber has partnered up with GM in the United States and Canada, and Renault-Nissan in Europe, so that they can offer discounts to the drivers that are willing to transition to electric vehicles.
- For those living in the US who don’t want to buy a completely new car, Uber wants to offer more electric vehicle rental opportunities.
- Together with other companies like Enel X or BP, Uber wants to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations. They will also be offering expanded EV charging discounts to encourage the change to low-emission vehicles.
- Uber wants to work towards reviving the idea of swapping electric vehicle batteries and allowing the cars to be able to go back on the road within just a few minutes, addressing customers’ concerns about needing to charge the car.
- expanding the journey planning feature to other locations. Currently, this feature is available only in selected cities.
- The feature, also known as Uber and Transit, enables users to plan their trips using both Uber and public transport.
- The feature shows everything, from the overview of the city’s public transportation services to the most efficient way to reach the desired destination (which may involve taking both public transport and an Uber ride).
- In some cities, it is possible to buy public transport tickets through the app due to Uber partnering with local governments.
Uber Green – Frequently Asked Questions
Is Uber Green more expensive than other Uber ride options?
No, Uber Green is not more expensive. On average, it costs the same price as UberX – however, UberX can connect you with any type of car, so if your goal is choosing low-emission rides, then that is not a suitable option.
What are other sustainable alternatives when it comes to transportation?
While Uber Green is definitely a great green alternative, there are other ways in which you can reach your destination in a more sustainable way. Those include:
- carpooling – if some of your friends or colleagues live in your vicinity and would like to get to the same destination as you (for example when going to work), carpooling could be a great idea to reduce carbon emissions. You can carpool using one Uber, or one vehicle if one of you has it. Additionally, in some places, it is possible to use UberPool, which is an option in the Uber app that allows you to share your ride with other people.
- riding a bike and/or walking – riding a bike and/or walking can be a great way to not only reduce carbon emissions as it doesn’t consume any fossil fuels but also keep in shape.
- using public transportation – similarly to carpooling, public transport reduces the carbon footprint per person. What’s more, many cities around the world are introducing hybrid or fully electric vehicles into their public transport services, including buses and trams.
Uber is definitely one of the most commonly used car sharing companies out there. Uber, Uber Eats – they both attract millions of people daily. In fact, when looking globally, in 2021, drivers from the Uber network completed approximately 17 million rides every day.
With a number as high as this one, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the impact Uber makes on the environment is quite significant. However, not for long, if everything goes according to their plans. As Uber announced not so long ago, their goal for the next few decades is to become a zero-emission platform by 2040 – and one of the first initiatives in that direction was the introduction of Uber Green to Uber options available globally.
Uber Green is the most environmentally friendly way of taking an Uber trip. When you select Uber Green, you will only be connected with drivers using hybrid cars or electric cars. The process of ordering Uber Green doesn’t differ that much from when you’re ordering a regular Uber trip, so if you’ve used the Uber app before you should have no issues ordering a green ride.
If you have an electric or hybrid vehicle and would like to sign up with Uber, you need to check whether your car qualifies. Most do, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Introducing Uber Green to a larger audience is just the beginning of the initiatives Uber plans on taking to encourage thousands of drivers’ transition to zero-emission vehicles. Some of the others include providing drivers wanting to transition with discounts for the electric car and EV charging, giving the drivers using hybrid and electric vehicles an opportunity to earn more or making more renting opportunities available.
Will Uber succeed in their goal? That’s not something that can be said with certainty now, as there’s still a long way to go. Truthfully, only time will tell just how many of their plans were accomplished.