Clean air plan FAQ

What is the Clean Air Plan?

Uber has announced a Clean Air Plan to tackle air pollution in London and across the UK. As part of the plan, Uber will create a dedicated Clean Air Fund to allow licensed drivers who use our app across the UK to access up to £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their car to a lower emission option. Over the lifetime of the fund, it is expected that drivers will claim well in excess of £150m to help transition to a greener car. At the same time, we are also launching a diesel scrappage scheme in London aimed at removing 1,000 of the most polluting cars from the road.

 

Why is Uber launching this Clean Air Plan?

Air pollution is a growing challenge and we are determined to do our bit in tackling it.  Government and local councils around the UK are already introducing new measures to improve air quality and we want to play our part too. As part of our plan, the cars using Uber app in London will be 100% hybrid or fully electric on uberX by the end of 2019 with no diesel vehicles on the app. We aim to reach the same standards across the UK in 2022. The clean air fund will help Uber partner-drivers upgrade to hybrid or electric vehicles to reach this goal.

 

Who will be impacted?

35p will be added to each trip in London, excluding uberPOOL – every penny of which will be donated to the dedicated and ring fenced fund to support drivers in the transition and help us all work towards a less polluted London. An amount will also be added to rides in other UK cities over the next year.  

The Clean Air Fund will give drivers access to a grant of up to £5000 to upgrade their vehicle to a hybrid or electric vehicle (or to a petrol vehicle where hybrid or electric vehicle options are not available, for example for uberXL, EXEC or LUX partners).

 

Will the charge apply on all trips in the UK?

The charge will be added on trips in London, excluding uberPOOL as POOL riders are already opting to sharing their journey with another rider heading in the same direction. An amount will be introduced in other UK cities within the next year.

 

What is the goal of this scheme?

The goal of this scheme is to take a lead in tackling poor air quality in UK cities and help Uber partner-drivers make the transition to hybrid or electric vehicles. As part of our plan, cars using the Uber app in London will be 100% hybrid or fully electric on uberX by the end of 2019 with no diesel vehicles on the app. We aim to reach the same standards across the UK in 2022.

 

Uber Partner-Drivers

Will I be eligible for the scheme?

The fund will be available to Uber partner-drivers – including those who currently rent a vehicle –  to access up to £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their car to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle. The grant will only be available towards the cost of owning vehicle not rental costs. The grant will be available for partner-drivers in an XL, EXEC or LUX diesel vehicle to upgrade to a cleaner petrol model where no hybrid or electric vehicle is available. For partner-drivers already driving a hybrid vehicle, the grant will be available to upgrade to an electric vehicle. We’ll be providing more information over the coming months.

 

Will the fund be available to Uber partner-drivers outside of London?

Yes, we aim to reach the same standards as in London across the UK in 2022 and the fund will be available to licensed drivers who use our app across the UK to access up to £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their car to a more efficient vehicle. We’ll be providing lots more information over the coming months about when and how you can claim.

 

When can I access the fund and how do I apply?

We’ll be providing lots more information over the coming months about when and how you can claim. For now, you can register your interest in the scheme here and we’ll be in touch with more details.

 

How will this impact my earnings?

The grant aims to help drivers overcome the two major hurdles to owning a hybrid or electric vehicle: the down payment and cost of finance, so that driver economics remain unchanged.  Without upgrading their car, drivers of older diesel vehicles could soon face charges for driving into city centres around the UK following the introduction of Clean Air Charging Zones in cities – such as the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London. The Clean Air Fund will help drivers pay to upgrade their car and avoid having to pay these types of charges, meaning driver economics should remain unchanged.

Many Uber partners already choose to drive a hybrid vehicle on the Uber app and the long term costs of running an EV are likely to reduce significantly as greater number of electric vehicle charge points are installed in UK cities. Uber is also working hard to bring down the costs of running an EV by investing in a network of dedicated rapid charge points for Uber partners in London.

 

Why is Uber going beyond the required vehicle standards of clean air zones?

Most clean air zones in the UK will require vehicles to comply with a minimum emissions standard of Euro 4 petrol or Euro 6 diesel.  Uber’s Clean Air Plan goes beyond these minimum requirements with hybrid or electric vehicles only on uberX in London by the end of 2019. It also commits to removing diesel vehicles from the Uber app.

We realise that not all private hire operators will commit to the same standards as Uber, but we believe we can do more to tackle air quality than just the minimum. That’s why we’ve set a bold and ambitious goal. The running costs of hybrids and EVs can be low compared to other vehicle types – so in the long run it can work out better for partners who chose to drive a hybrid or EV.

 

What vehicle can I buy through the Clean Air Fund?

A wide range of vehicles will be available – including models many drivers already choose to drive on the Uber app. Most hybrid and electric vehicles which meet the current size requirements of uberX will be eligible.  Examples of these cars include  the Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris, Hyundai IONIQ, Ford Mondeo Hybrid, Nissan LEAF and Hyundai IONIQ EV. We’ll be in touch in plenty of time to let you know the wide list of vehicles you’ll be able to choose.

 

Can I join the Uber app in a diesel or petrol vehicle?

Yes. You are currently able to join the Uber app in a diesel or petrol vehicle and drive that vehicle until the end of 2019. From the start of 2020 onwards only hybrid or electric vehicles will be allowed on the app for UberX in London.   

 

What does this mean for uberXL, uberEXEC, uberLUX partners?

uberXL/EXEC/LUX partner-drivers can continue driving on the platform until the end of 2019 in their current vehicle.  From 2020 onwards, they will be able to drive on  the Uber app in a petrol, hybrid or electric vehicle.

 

I currently drive a car that’s not electric or hybrid – can I still drive with Uber?

Yes. You are able to continue driving on the Uber app with a diesel or petrol vehicle up until the end of 2019. This gives you plenty of time to apply for the grant and upgrade your vehicle to a hybrid or electric vehicle. From 2020 onwards, only hybrid or electric vehicles will be allowed on  uberX in London.

 

How much will it cost for me to upgrade to a hybrid or electric vehicle?

Although prices vary, hybrids can often be a similar cost to non-hybrid vehicles. Used hybrids are also very affordable and we’ll be announcing some new deals from third party providers on hybrid vehicles which will reduce the cost. Look out for new hybrid deals in the near future. As greater numbers of charge points are installed in cities around the UK, the cost and ease of driving a fully electric vehicle is also likely to come down.

In either case,the dedicated fund will let you access up to £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading your car to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle.

 

Where can I find more information about Clean Air Zones or the Ultra Low Emission Zone?

Many cities, including London, are planning on introducing Clean Air Zones in city centres (known as the Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London). These zones will typically charge pre-2006 petrol vehicles and pre-2015 diesel models to drive in the City Centre. For  information on TfL’s proposals for London see here.

 

I am interested in driving an Electric Vehicle, where can I find more information?

If you’re interested in finding out whether an electric vehicle is the right option for you, email the team at ukev@uber.com. We have also been running roundtables with partners to discuss the future of electric vehicles, thank you to all of the partners who have attended these so far.

 

I am not VAT registered. How does this affect me?

The contribution added to fares in London counts towards your VAT turnover for the purposes of determining whether you have to register for VAT – that is, whether you are above the VAT threshold. Currently the VAT threshold in the UK is £83,000. We recommend you speak to a qualified tax accountant or advisor to ensure you have no outstanding liabilities with HMRC.

 

I am VAT registered. How does this affect me differently?

The contribution added to fares in London counts towards your revenue . We recommend you speak to a qualified tax accountant or advisor to ensure you have no outstanding liabilities with HMRC.

We’ll be providing you with more information on how you can claim a grant in a few months time  – until then you can register your interest for the scheme using this form.

 

Uber Riders

How can I apply for the diesel scrappage scheme?

Uber is launching a scheme to encourage Londoners to scrap their old diesel cars. The first 1,000 Londoners to scrap a pre Euro-4 diesel vehicle at a Government accredited vehicle scrappage centre and provide an official Certificate of Destruction will be able to receive up to £1500 of credit to spend on Uber rides. You can register interest here and will be able to apply to the scheme from next month.

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