Uber fares in London go up from Wednesday to pay for electric cars

Uber fares in London will be increased from Wednesday to help drivers buy electric cars.

A clean air fee of 15p per mile will be added to every trip taken in the capital.

The minicab app firm expects the scheme to raise more than £200 million in the coming years, which will be used to help drivers convert to electric cars.

Uber said it is “keen to expand” the initiative to other UK cities.

A London driver using the app for an average of 40 hours per week will be given around £3,000 towards the purchase cost of an electric car in two years, according to the company.

The clean air fee will not include miles travelled to a passenger’s pick up location and will not be affected by dynamic pricing.

Uber expects the surcharge to be around 45p for an average trip.

It wants 20,000 cars on its app in London to be fully electric by the end of 2021, increasing to every car by 2025.

There are currently around 45,000 Uber drivers in the capital.

When the plan was announced in October last year, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said: “The Mayor of London has set out a bold vision to tackle air pollution in the capital and we’re determined to do everything we can to back it.

“Our £200 million Clean Air Plan is a long-term investment in the future of London aimed at going all-electric in the capital in 2025.

“Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options – whether cars, bikes, scooters or public transport – all in the Uber app.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan introduced a £10 toxicity charge for older, more polluting vehicles in the centre of the capital in October 2017.

This will be replaced by an Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will create stricter emissions standards for diesel vehicles at all times, from April.

In June, a judge granted Uber a short-term operating licence in London after its permit was initially not renewed over safety concerns.

The firm conceded it had made “serious mistakes” and Transport for London was correct in its renewal decision, but told an appeal hearing it had made “wholesale” reforms.

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