In episode #2 of the BeSustainable Podcast we talk with Matthew Price, the General Manager of Ridesharing in Uber Canada, about Uber’s plans to involve more electric vehicles and plans to become a zero emissions platform in North America by 2030 and globally by 2040.
Uber currently has a service called “Uber Green” in places like Norway and the Netherlands that are already popular in those countries. The idea is for Uber to take their existing and proven services that are more environmentally friendly and bring them here to Canada and North America. Its great to see more forwarding thinking people at large companies striving to take action on sustainability goals at every level.
Uber is looking at how a customer gets from point A to point B and finding ways to offer zero emissions transport at every step whether its Lime scooters, sustainable transit or electric ridesharing. One way Uber is helping drivers make this change is by partnering with GM to give Uber drivers exclusive deals on the Bolt EV. While the details of the saving are not published on the site, their instructions are to call participating dealerships to receive information on those savings.
My personal opinion on Uber’s Sustainability Goals in Canada:
For any large company to exist in 2021 and beyond it will be imperative for them to be taking action toward sustainability and zero emissions. Especially companies that are tied into the automotive industry in any aspect. So its great to see a company like Uber publicly map out their personal goals for zero emissions.
Their “Zero Emissions Incentive Program” is only available until September 20th, 2021 so for a current 10 year commitment in Canada I’m curious what offerings will be made beyond that point.
I, like many others, would like to see Uber drivers be paid more for the services they provide. Uber is offering drivers $1 more for each ride under the Zero Emissions program… but they are capping those earnings to a maximum of $4,000 per year limiting what extra money an electric Uber driver can actually earn. On top of that, drivers opting into the Zero Emissions incentive program are not eligible to take part in any other weekly incentives according to their website. So its hard to see what real incentives are being provided for drivers to help Uber achieve their zero emissions goal.
In order for Uber to successfully transition to an electric fleet and achieve zero emissions globally, it will rely 100% on everyone involved to make those changes. And at the heart of that goal is the drivers who choose to drive 100% electric.
As Uber rolls out their updated plans over the next few years I think part of making an effective sustainability pledge as a company would be to take care of the people financially who offer their electric vehicle for ridesharing. By offering electric drivers additional earnings and incentives of significant value, where an electric Uber driver could earn the equivalent of a full time income as a contractor, Uber could rapidly implement these sustainability goals by providing incentive for all team players to do so.