Uber Canada & Greenlots Launch Pilot Project To Encourage EV Adoption In Vancouver

Today, Uber announced that it will launch an electric vehicle (EV) charging pilot project in Vancouver, British Columbia. Uber will partner with global EV charging solutions leader, Greenlots, a member of the Shell Group that is soon to become Shell Recharge Solutions in 2022, to install three new fast-charging stations in locations with high rideshare utilization. This is Uber’s first partnership in North America designed to increase EV charger access exclusively for drivers and delivery people on Uber in public areas. The goal of the project is to increase EV adoption in the city, and use the pilot’s learnings to increase EV adoption in other cities where Uber operates in North America. 

Vancouver currently has the highest percentage of low-emission vehicles on Uber across all Canadian markets, but access to public charging options remains a key barrier in the city. The new charging locations will be in downtown Vancouver, Metropolis at Metrotown, and the final station to be confirmed. All three stations will open in January 2022, and will offer discounted charging rates to make public charging more affordable than charging at home.

This pilot is a continuation of Uber’s ongoing work to become a zero-emission mobility platform by 2040. Earlier this year, Uber rolled out Uber Green, Uber’s low-emissions ride option, to 16 cities across Canada. Drivers using an EV receive an incentive of $1 incremental in earnings for every trip made on the platform. Uber also launched Uber+Transit earlier this month in Ontario, which offers users convenient routes that combine local transit with an Uber ride. Uber also offers various resources to drivers and delivery people looking to make the switch to an EV including the EV calculator, which helps inform drivers of the cost of ownership, subsidies, and local benefits available when making the switch to an EV. 

Uber’s partnership with Greenlots on this pilot was a natural fit. Greenlots brings extensive experience providing turnkey solutions scaled to the specific electrification requirements of light, medium and heavy-duty fleets. Support for Uber includes site acquisition, system design and installation, and site operation tools. 

Based on behaviour and adoption rates, the Uber and Greenlots pilot project in Vancouver can act as a blueprint that can be replicated in urban hubs across North America. British Columbia’s Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEV Act) along with programs like the City of Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan have created a framework that has encouraged a shift to electric in the region. The transition is also inclusive of populations that were once difficult to reach. For example: Vancouver requires 100% of new multi-unit residential buildings to include EV charging, and recently passed similar requirements for non-residential developments.

Wider access to EV charging can increase exposure and buying options, and influence EV adoption across Uber’s vast driver and customer network, to help electric go mainstream. With Uber’s scale, more electric miles would be completed in urban areas, and more charging on city networks. This would help strengthen charger accessibility within communities, and lead to lower battery costs, two significant barriers to EV adoption. 

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