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Nissan to supply 2,000 electric cars to London Uber drivers

Uber has signed a deal with Nissan to provide 2,000 of the Japanese automaker’s all-electric Leaf cars for drivers in London, as part of a bid to reduce air pollution.

The ride sharing firm currently wants to go fully electric in the Capital by 2025, which would require converting all of its 45,000 drivers to EVs.

The fleet of 40kWh Nissan Leafs, which can travel up to 270km on a single charge and are manufactured in Sunderland, will be offered to drivers as part of Uber’s Clean Air Plan.

The plan aims to tackle air pollution by helping drivers upgrade to an electric vehicle through the introduction of a Clean Air Fee, 15p a mile is already added on to all London journeys, with all money going to drivers to support the cost of switching to electric. Each driver can save around £4,500 to help them switch to electric through the plan. In the first year, Uber raised £80m to support the transition to EVs, with more than £200m expected to be raised over the next few years. It also led to almost 900,000 Uber journeys taking place in EVs: an increase of more than 350 per cent on the previous year.

Nissan has been manufacturing its electric vehicles in the Sunderland plant for several years but made the decision last February to move production of its next generation X-Trail vehicles back to Japan in response to the uncertain future relationship between the UK and EU.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I want green transport to be the new normal, and with one battery electric vehicle sold every 15 minutes last year, we are heading in the right direction. Electrifying taxi and private hire vehicle fleets is crucial to cleaning up our air and it’s fantastic to see this ambition matched by companies like Nissan and Uber as we drive towards a zero emission future.”

Uber’s general manager for northern and eastern Europe Jamie Heywood said: “Our bold vision for London is for every driver on the Uber app to use an all electric vehicle by 2025. The partnership with Nissan is a hugely significant step towards meeting this goal. The Mayor of London has shown strong leadership on measures relating to air quality and we’re proud to support him in delivering his vision.”

Transport for London rejected Uber’s application for a new London licence in November 2019 due to “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”. The firm is allowed to continue operating while it appeals against the decision.

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