That’s the ambitious name Uber has given its latest initiative, a move that company no doubt hopes will help offset a variety of negative press it has attracted in recent months.
Some of those allegations have been anything but minor: there were accusations of sexual harassment against Uber execs in early 2017, and in March of this year one of Uber’s self-driving prototypes killed a pedestrian in Arizona when its safety systems failed to “see” the person and the “driver” behind the wheel was unable to react in time.
As recognition that electric vehicles still cost more to buy than comparable gasoline-powered models, UberÉLECTRIQUE (as Uber Canada calls the program in Montreal) will charge its users more when they hail a ride in an EV and pass on incentives to drivers who use EVs.
Those incentives vary from city to city. In Montreal, Uber EV drivers will get a membership in AVEQ (l’Association des Vehicules Electriques du Quebec), an EV advocacy group whose members are eligible for a 20 per cent discount on car insurance.
Uber itself also gives EV owners in its ranks some special considerations, such as advance notice of requests for longer trips in case they need time to charge their car. Meanwhile, Uber clients will be notified if their chauffeur will be driving an EV.
Uber’s electric experiment also puts the company on the good side of a California government initiative to boost the number of zero-emission vehicles on its roads to five million by 2030.
The other cities hosting Uber’s EV pilot are Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin.