Last week, Uber made this green announcement.
In it, they committed to becoming a “zero-emission platform” by 2040, with 100% of rides taking place in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit, or with micromobility. In the US, Canada, and Europe, they have gone even further and committed to 100% of rides taking place in an electric vehicle by 2030. And at the corporate level, they are similarly targeting net-zero emissions by 2030.
To achieve all of this, the company will be focusing on helping drivers transition to EVs by 2025, investing in their multimodal network, and trying to encourage less reliance on personal car ownership, among other things. They’ll also be incentivizing both drivers (+$1.50 per Green ride) and consumers (3x Uber Rewards points per Green ride, instead of 2x). And I think these will be key.
According to Uber, global carbon emissions fell by some 17% in the month of April as a result of lockdowns. But by June that decline had diminished to only 5%. What is obvious is that this was a short-term blip. “Normal” will return at some point. But once on-demand mobility is able to fully transition to electric vehicles, we’ll certainly be looking at a different kind of normal.
For the full news release, click here.
Full disclosure: I am long Uber.
Uber may be making these good news announcements – but going electric won’t cost the company, which posts billions of dollars in losses every year, a dime.The onus, as always is on drivers – to provide their own vehicle, to turbo-depreciate those vehicles driving for Uber and to live at the whim of Uber’s computer-generated decision making (cutting off access while they investigate a scurrilous complaint, ignoring sexual assault allegations, sending accident victims requests for ‘feedback’ and ‘tip the driver’ nudges that reflect their ‘experience’ ). You may have stock in Uber which you hope will do well – but this is a digital bottom feeder that has deep pockets to fight regulation in every market (very successfully in Toronto, thanks to our mayor) and has done much harm to the environment, transit, the regulated taxi industry and passengers. This is a company that brags about providing “jobs” to newcomers, refugees and the marginally employed but refuses to acknowledge that it has “employees”. Offers “free” rides to groups in need from time to time and loads it on drivers to deliver, produces glitzy commercials – “No Mask, No Ride” comes to mind – but let’s the drivers duke it out with passengers to comply and punishes drivers if people complain. It undermines your credibility to simply rehash Uber’s turd-polishing press releases without actually researching what independent studies have said about the fallout of the unhealthy lengths the company will go to to protect its “business model”. Try Hubert Horan at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com, Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research for starters. https://urbananalyticsinstitute.com/regulating-vehicles-for-hire-in-toronto/