Some of the most important and everyday decisions people make can impact the planet, from how they drive, to what they eat. The push for a greener lifestyle has been encouraged recently, but it may be more straightforward than initially thought.
Uber, one of the most popular ride-share apps internationally, has embarked on a sustainability journey, introducing new features to make it easier for riders and drivers to go green. Uber Eats has now joined in the effort.
The app has introduced a new emission savings feature, where riders and customers can view how many emissions they have avoided by going green through electric rides. The new announcement has been made just as the northern hemisphere summer season begins, offering a range of perks for riders who travel via electric vehicles to and from the airport.
In a mission to clean up the planet, Uber plans to end all unnecessary plastic waste from deliveries by 2030 and eliminate emissions on all Uber Eats deliveries globally by 2040. Nearly one million merchants in over 30 countries sell on Uber Eats, creating an opportunity to deliver a greener future. A future global expansion for green packaging is also planned, encouraging restaurants to use recyclable, reusable, and compostable packaging.
Drivers will also benefit from this feature, with discounted and free access to fast chargers in the driver waiting lot.
Uber operates in over 200 cities worldwide but plans to expand the company further, with 18 new cities adopting UberX Share, making it the world's most widely-available shared ride service. Uber Green has also launched in Australia, making it available in more than 140 cities globally.
At the heart of Uber’s strategy is assisting drivers with going electric as fast as possible, devoting $800 million in resources to support the initiative. However, electric vehicle costs are not the only barrier drivers face. Worrying about when and where to charge cars has become a significant concern for drivers.
In a statement, Uber said that they are building innovative charging features to the app, allowing optimal performance on the road during operating hours.
“Uber’s technology will assess real-time signals such as charging prices, charging time, and traffic to recommend when and where drivers should charge, so they can maximise their earnings while on the road and when planning.”
Battery-Aware Matching is another step the company has undertaken, filtering trip requests based on battery levels in electric vehicles. A spokesperson for Uber added that the charging should be seamless, not stressful.
A mapping algorithm began in North America last year, locating ways to be more fuel efficient. Factors such as elevation, stopping and starting at red lights, and fuel consumption are now considered when rides are booked. Not only does this assist with avoiding 9,800 metric tonnes of CO2, or 4.2 million litres of gasoline, it won’t increase the booking time or the cost for the customer.