Uber starts paying drivers to buy electric


Uber driver (photo by Uber)

Uber driver (photo by Uber)

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Electric cars and fleets go hand-in-hand.

That's the message Uber is trying to send to its drivers with a new program it calls EV Champions, which will pay some drivers higher rates if they drive an electric car.

The pilot program starts this week and will run for a year in seven cities: Austin, Texas; Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco, California; Montreal; and Seattle.

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According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, drivers in San Diego will get an extra $1 per ride for driving an electric car, up to $20 a week. In Los Angeles, drivers can get educational assistance for driving an electric car.

All Uber EV Champions will have access to a program to assist them in receiving the maximum financial incentives for buying an electric car wherever they live. 

The Uber app will also get updates to flag drivers ahead of time to trips 30 minutes or longer to give them a chance to plan for charging needs for riders who need to make longer trips.

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In an effort to promote electric cars, riders will also be notified if they're going to be picked up in an electric Uber.

Uber also says that it will work to advocate for policies and infrastructure to promote the use of shared electric cars. Drivers in Montreal, for example, will get automatic membership in AVEQ, which offers insurance discounts for electric cars and advocates for policies that promote electrics. Uber has also joined electric car advocacy organizations in other regions.

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