Read all the latest... project updates, industry news and more!
SEPTEMBER 14, 2020
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been making headlines. In celebration of the first ever ‘World EV Day’ last Wednesday, we’ve gathered some of the top stories about the companies driving sustainable change in the transport sector…
Uber Goes Ultra-Low Emission
Uber, the taxi and delivery service that changed the face of modern transportation, has just announced its next big change. The company has committed to becoming a fully zero-emissions platform by 2040, ten years earlier than the UK’s own Net Zero target. By this time, the company aims for 100% of its rides to be carried out by carbon-neutral vehicles, public transport, bikes or scooters.
So how is the largest mobility platform in the world going to go carbon neutral? Well, you can expect to see the expansion of ‘Uber Green’, an in-app option where customers can pay an extra $1 to ride in an electric vehicle. Riders will receive x3 Uber reward points for these green journeys.
Alongside this, Uber is launching ‘Green Future’, an $800m global programme which aims to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to electric vehicles by 2025 in Europe, the US and Canada.
Photo credit: electrek.com
In the UK, Uber-only rapid charging hubs are being developed, the first of which is opening in Westminster, London. Uber drivers will also receive discounts on charging at public charge stations and installing at-home chargepoints. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has challenged other mobility platforms to deliver on accountability and action, saying…
“Competing on sustainability is a win for the world. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, our cities, our shareholders, and the planet we all share.”
Mercedes x Amazon Electric Vans
Photo credit: geekwire.com
Amazon is building up its green fleet, with the addition of 1,800 high-tech electric vans from Mercedes-Benz. The delivery vehicles will be rolled out across Europe later this year and mark the largest order of electric vehicles that Mercedes has ever had.
1,200 (two thirds) of the vehicles will be the newest electric commerce eSprinter vans, while the remaining 600 will be the older and slightly smaller eVito models.
In September 2019, Amazon launched The Climate Pledge, which founder Jess Bezos described as a promise to “build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world”. The online retail giant committed to being carbon neutral by 2040 and encouraged other companies that it does business with to do the same. Mercedes-Benz is the latest name to sign up.
However, this recent deal is not Amazon’s largest EV order. Earlier this year, the company announced that they had purchased 100,000 electric vans from start-up Rivian Automotive. The vans will be delivered over the next decade, with the first being introduced in early 2021.
Farewell to Fuel!
For the first time ever, ordinary British citizens have come together to tell the Government what they think should be done about climate change. And they’ve said it’s time to get rid of petrol and diesel cars. The Citizens’ Climate Assembly consists of 110 people from a range of ages, genders, races and backgrounds, chosen at random to give feedback on Governmental climate policy. They came together over several weekends earlier this year to study climate change and discuss how the UK could achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.
The Assembly recommended that clean transport should focus on shifting towards electric vehicles and improving public networks, rather than making people reduce their car use. 86% of members agreed that UK should ‘quickly stop selling the most polluting vehicles’. They suggested that the sale of petrol, diesel and even hybrid vehicles be banned as early as 2030.
Photo credit: geekwire.com
Priority Parking for Eco-Drivers
The Department for Transport might introduce green parking (literally) to help encourage the uptake of electric vehicles. We’re talking dedicated parking spots for EV drivers with their own personal chargepoints, painted green to make them easy to spot.
These spaces would likely be cheaper and more conveniently placed than parking spots for traditional combustion cars. And drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles could be fined for parking in them.
There are also calls to install more chargepoints at supermarkets and tourist spots such as Stonehenge, as well as free charging for new EV owners. A Government advisory group has even proposed a “Fast and Furious style TV show” to promote EV racing. We really want to watch it!
Alongside this, the Department for Transport is launching a £9.3 billion scheme, organised by Highways England. It will offer companies the chance to trial electric vehicles for free for two months before they buy. Business-owners: take note.