Nissan teams up with Uber for London electric vehicle trial
Nissan is to provide a fleet of 20 Leafs to the car hailing service Uber as part of a trial that could eventually see Uber running an all-electric fleet.
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The extensive EV trial, run in partnership with the Energy Savings Trust (EST), is the first time all-electric vehicles have been available for hire through the Uber app in London. It will look into the feasibility of running large numbers of electric private hire vehicles in the UK.
It is understood Nissan is also offering top-rated London Uber drivers discounted leases to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles as part of the trial.
The EST will help to provide research into the experience, driving patterns and economics of private hire drivers using electric cars. They will also look into the capacity of London’s charge point network to see if it can adequately support all-electric vehicles.
“With the impact of poor air quality remaining a cause for concern, the trial could prove to be a pivotal moment for tackling the challenges in London," said Gareth Dunsmore, head of electric vehicles, Nissan Europe.
While 60% of Uber journeys in London are already made in hybrid vehicles, the company is keen to explore any environmental and economic benefits entailed with going fully electric.
The trial comes ahead of the capital’s upcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2020.
Commenting on the ground-breaking partnership, Jo Bertram, regional general manager of Uber in the UK, said: "People already associate Uber with hybrid cars [and] we are determined to use technology to help tackle the challenge of air pollution in London.
“Our car-sharing service has already saved 1.2 million miles and 211 metric tonnes of CO2. With electric vehicles – and more people sharing their journey and leaving their own cars at home – there's even more we can do."
As the electric vehicle market continues to grow, the Leaf remains the best-selling EV in the world, with more than 230,000 currently on the road.
With running costs as low as two pence per mile, the Nissan LEAF and the larger Nissan e-NV200 Combi have already proven their worth as taxis and private hire vehicles around Europe.