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Uber Partners with Nissan to Offer Electric Cars at a Discount Amid London Ban Threat

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In response to a looming ban in London, Uber announced on Friday a new initiative to provide U.K. drivers with discounted electric cars from Nissan. The ride-hailing giant has secured a deal to introduce 2,000 Nissan Leaf hatchbacks for drivers using its app across Britain, with a particular focus on those operating in London.

This initiative aligns with Uber’s broader goal to address air pollution in the U.K. capital by transitioning to a fully electric fleet by 2025. In 2018, Uber began charging passengers in London an additional 15 pence per mile to assist drivers in purchasing electric vehicles. This surcharge has already raised over £80 million ($105 million) and is projected to accumulate £200 million in the coming years. As a result, there has been a 350% increase in electric vehicle rides since the charge was implemented.

The timing of this partnership with Nissan is critical, as Uber is currently appealing a decision by Transport for London (TfL) to revoke its operating license. This legal battle allows Uber to continue its operations in the city temporarily.

The Nissan Leaf, which has sold over 450,000 units, is one of the best-selling electric cars globally. However, the specifics of the discount for Uber drivers and the financial terms of the agreement with Nissan remain undisclosed. In the U.K., the Leaf starts at £26,345, with government grants available up to £3,500 for plug-in cars.

Uber’s commitment to clean energy is partly driven by London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s stringent measures to combat air pollution, including a £12.50 daily charge for older, polluting vehicles in the “ultra low emission zone.” This policy has pushed Uber to prioritize reducing its environmental impact, aiming to support London’s clean air objectives while ensuring its service remains operational amidst regulatory challenges.

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