Supplied in entry-level 40kWh guise, the Sunderland-built Leaf offers Uber drivers 168 miles of range per charge. Nissan is supplying the electric hatch to the ride-hailing firm at a ‘dedicated transaction price’, offering drivers around £4500 off the car's £26,345 list price, depending on the number of miles they have driven.
The company has added a 15p ‘Clean Air Fee’ to all journeys made in London, which will be used to help its employees pay for the new Nissan models.
Uber hopes that all 45,000 Uber cars operating in London will be fully electric by 2025, and has so far raised £80 million to “support drivers transitioning to electric vehicles”. After switching into an EV, the Clean Air Fee will go towards the driver’s ongoing operating costs.
Uber’s ‘Clean Air Plan’ to reduce emissions came into effect in January 2019. The company claims 900,000 trips across the capital have been made in electric vehicles since then - a 350% increase over 2018 - and that more than 500 drivers per week are using fully electric cars.
Nissan GB managing director Andrew Humberstone said customers also will notice the benefits of switching into an EV: “Not only will passengers enjoy the quieter ride that comes from all-electric driving, but cyclists, pedestrians and other road users will also benefit from the zero-emissions powertrain.”
The change comes as the government ramps up plans to increase the use of electric vehicles in city centres. Transport for London has installed 1000 new EV chargers in the past year, and the Department for Transport last week pledged £10 million towards installing chargers on residential streets around the city.
However, Uber’s position in London is under threat since authorities decided not to renew its operating licence in November last year. The company is currently appealing the decision, and is able to run a full service while the process is carried out
Last week, it was revealed that the Nissan Leaf is the world’s best selling electric vehicle; since the first-generation model’s launch in 2010, the Japanese firm has sold more than 450,000 units globally.