Uber to make up to 25,000 electric cars available for drivers through Hertz partnership

Image: Uber

The two companies have already been working together in the North American market to make electric vehicles (EVs) accessible to Uber drivers there, as the ride-hailing giant aims to reach net-zero in this market by 2030. This partnership has provided some 24 million fully electric trips, covering 260 million miles, to date.

With the same corporate climate goal in place in Europe, Uber is expanding its partnership with Hertz to several of its European markets, beginning with the UK.

Of the 25,000 EVs which Hertz will make available to Uber drivers, more than 10,000 will be allocated in London, where its European headquarters are based. Drivers and users of Uber can expect to see the new vehicles on the streets this month.

London is notably set to expand its Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to cover all of Greater London from 29 August this year. Pure electric vehicles will not need to pay ULEZ charges, making them an attractive option for fleet operators across the capital. London is also banning private hire vehicles that cannot operate in a zero-tailpipe-emissions mode this year as part of plans to reduce air pollution.

Later this year, cars provided to Uber drivers via Hertz will be hitting the streets in Paris and Amsterdam. Uber has stated that it wants to expand to other capital cities in mainland Europe and will announce more information “in due course”.

“By making EVs available to rideshare drivers, we will not only contribute to reducing emissions in European cities but also expand opportunities for people to experience the benefits of electrification,” said Hertz’s chief executive Stephen Scherr.

Hertz vehicles on offer to Uber drivers will include Tesla and Polestar models. The firm reported last summer that it is making significant savings on vehicle maintenance costs with its Tesla fleet, recording maintenance costs per vehicle of 50-60% lower than models with internal combustion engines. Then, in a subsequent earnings call, Hertz reported a 12% year-on-year uptick in profits, citing fleet electrification as a contributor.


In other EV news, Gridserve, the company behind the UK’s first “electric forecourt”, is celebrating its first facility opening of 2023 at Solstice Park, Wiltshire. The site of the facility is managed by RO Group and also features food-to-go outlets.

The ‘Electric Super Hub’ features eight high-power EV chargers capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in five minutes. Its location was selected to serve those visiting Stonehenge and others travelling on the A303.

Electricity to serve the charging points is being procured from Gridserve’s network of solar and battery arrays, with the firm claiming ‘net-zero’ certification for the electricity.

Gridserve opened its first electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex, after delays due to Covid-19. Gridserve unveiled a £1bn programme in March 2019 to construct more than 100 “Electric Forecourts” across the UK this decade. It opened 11 projects in 2022 after opening just one in 2021, and wants to “accelerate” its rollout in 2023.

“Every new charging location makes a positive impact on moving the needle on climate change, enabling more electric journeys and giving those drivers yet to make the switch the confidence to move to an electric vehicle,” said Gridserve chief executive Toddington Harper.

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