Today, Uber is launching a new electric car service in the UK, in partnership with Nissan and China’s BYD, where it will offer leasing (not purchasing) options for fully-electric cars (BYD E6s and Nissan Leafs) to its drivers, as well as include those vehicles in the mix of cars that it offers to passengers for journeys.
Uber is starting first with 50 vehicles in London and — if all goes as planned — it will expand the service to another UK city in coming months, and projects to have “hundreds” of all-electric vehicles on the roads in the UK by next year.
Moving into leasing services is a route that companies like Didi in China (which recently acquired/merged with Uber’s business in the country) and Ola in India have also taken in China to expand their businesses.
Second of all, it’s a smart move to improve Uber’s profile, both with lawmakers and regulators in the cities where it operates as well as with consumers and drivers, too. As a company with automotive transportation as its core building block, making investments into further electric car transportation and figuring out effective, alternative forms of fuel beyond gasoline to improve he environment, especially in large cities clogged with pollution (London, as an old city, has a lot of homes on very busy roads) are very obvious moves in Uber’s larger corporate social responsibility strategy, and also more directly to help improve its image, which has not always been positive. – TechCrunch