Uber Manages to Do Something Not Awful, Launches EV Adoption Initiative in Oregon
If you haven’t been paying attention to Uber, lately, the company has been having some major PR problems. Whether it’s a former female employee writing about rampant sexism within the company, or it’s the CEO getting into an ugly shouting match with one of the drivers, or it’s the company essentially working to break a New York taxi strike, or their autonomous vehicles being terrible drivers, it has been one PR disaster after another for the ride-hailing app.
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After all that, Uber needed a palate cleanser, and here it is: Uber has launched a new initiative in Portland, Oregon, to encourage drivers to buy electric vehicles. The program, which originally began in London but is being brought over to one of the greenest cities in the US, will kick off in late May, and intends to achieve up to 10% of its Oregon fleet driving electric vehicles by 2019.
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To reach that goal, Uber is offering in-house deals with its Xchange Leasing subsidiary for EVs and also using a number of local collaborations, such as one with the Black Parent Initiative to expand access to underserved communities, one with Cynergy E-Bikes to hook up UberEATS drivers with electric bicycles, and one with Arcimoto, a local EV company.
On top of all that, Uber will apparently run some educational initiatives, all in the name of reaching that electric vehicle goal. Right now, the company has a way to go, as it says that only 100 of the app’s 6,000 Portland drivers use electric vehicles.