Korean carmaker Kia is to offer Uber drivers discounted rates on battery electric vehicles (EVs) as part of a new tie-up announced this morning designed to reduce the emissions footprint of the ride-sharing giant’s extensive European operations.
Uber said it hoped the move would encourage more of its drivers to purchase zero-emission vehicles, a shift that would allow the US firm to deliver on its pledge to become a ‘zero-emission mobility platform’ in Europe by the end of the decade.
The deal will see drivers in 20 European markets, including the UK, offered discounted rates on a range of “affordable” zero-emission vehicles, starting with its all-electric ‘e-Niro’ and ‘e-Soul’ models, Uber said.
The companies have also confirmed they will collaborate on marketing and educational campaigns that highlight the benefits of EVs to Uber drivers.
Anabel Diaz, regional general manager for EMEA at Uber, emphasized the deal would help the firm decarbonize its operations as Covid-19 lockdowns start to lift in cities across the world.
“Zero emissions mobility is more than just an aim for us – it’s a necessity,” she said. “As Europe continues to reopen, we are committed to playing our part in cleaning up urban transport, so this partnership is crucial in our efforts to advance the electrification of our platform across Europe by 2030.”
Uber is aiming to have 100,000 EVs signed on to its European platform and ensure more than half the kilometers driven in seven European capitals are zero-emission by 2025.
Kia Europe president Jason Jeong heralded the partnership as an “important milestone for BEVs and sustainable zero-emission mobility in Europe”.
Kia intends to introduce 11 new EV models by 2026 and is aiming for a quarter of the vehicles it sells to be “eco-friendly” by the same date.
“Making sure that the air is clean in congested city and town centers – as well as ensuring these spaces are quiet and free from vehicle noise pollution – is at the very top of our agenda,” Jeong said. “This important partnership with Uber is a significant step forward in realizing that goal and we are very proud to be able to offer our advanced BEV range, starting with the e-Niro and e-Soul models.”News Source: BusinessGreen