The ride-hailing firm has launched a pilot program for driver-partners, the Uber EV Champions Initiative, across 7 American cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Montreal, San Diego, Sacramento, and Austin.
The program is supported by a total of 9 partners: 5 of which are Expert NGOs, 3 electric utility providers, and 1 academic research institute. It focuses on EV adoption that includes both plug-in electric and full battery electric vehicles.
Giovanni Circella of UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (the academic partner) further throws light on the program: “EV Champions brings together two of today’s transportation revolutions: clean electric vehicles and shared-use mobility.”
While EV adoption talks about conveniences like cutting down transport expenses and participating in automotive innovation, drivers face other challenges in the mix. These include – losing fare-earning while charging vehicles, access to fast-charging stations in urban areas, and expense in accessing higher mileage EVs.
The Uber EV Champions Initiative addresses these issues via providing the following: access to EV education and resources, in-app features for EV drivers, and advocacy for shared-use EV drivers.
Firstly, not all drivers are aware of the availabilities of State programs, local programs, and incentives offered by utility companies and cities. The pilot program ensures EV drivers are up to date with all resources available. Select cities even have direct monetary incentives if you are driving EVs on Uber’s network.
Next comes the most essential in-app features that compensate for concerns like drivers’ range anxiety and more. The range anxiety involves you worried about not reaching the nearest charging station before your car’s battery runs out. The 30-minute trip notification is a feature providing the drivers with the ability to predict and be precisely decisive on their road ahead.
The third is the advocacy for shared use of the vehicles, which comes with Uber joining Veloz, a non-profit association comprising public and private organizations concentrating on addressing the EV adoption needs of rideshare drivers in California.
Also, Uber will offer the drivers free AVEQ membership in Quebec via its app. This brings them reduced insurance premium, and a chance to share views and advocate for policies regarding their needs.
Stay tuned to know more of Uber’s efforts in EV adoption.