Uber Pushes Fully Electric Car Service in Australia

Uber electric cars and two users for the comfort electric Australia launch

(Credit: Uber)

by | Oct 26, 2023

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Uber, the popular rideshare platform, has launched a fully electric car service in Australia as part of the company’s overall mission to become a zero-emissions platform in the country by 2040.

The new product, dubbed Comfort Electric, is available to Uber for Business customers, which is built for businesses and enables companies to create a company account for employees to expense rides and meals. The service is now available for Uber for Business customers in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Adelaide. 

The product also offers companies the opportunity to track their carbon emissions data through the platform’s sustainability insights dashboard. Customers have access to metrics such as total carbon emissions and the percentage of corporate travel trips taken with Comfort Electric and Uber Green. Uber says it plans to continue investing in EV growth to launch EV options to more costumes broadly.

“Australian businesses are increasingly examining ways to incorporate more sustainable solutions across the corporate travel mix,” Sarah Forsterling, acting head of Uber for Business, Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement. “Tens of thousands of clients globally have used Uber for Business’ Sustainability Dashboard since its launch in 2022, a platform we provide to customers that helps them easily report on the sustainability impact of corporate travel. We’re excited about how Comfort Electric will help Australian businesses reduce carbon emissions, as well as provide their employees the option to embrace a greener way to travel in style.”

EV Partnership

In addition to announcing the new product, Uber announced its new partnership with EVDirect to make 10,000 BYD EVs immediately available to Uber drivers and Uber Eats delivery people with financing options.

BYD is a major Chinese automaker and has one of the best-selling EVs in the world, the BYD Han. EVDirect is the official distributor of BYD in Australia. Drivers and delivery people can currently access EV financing options on the BYD Atto 3, with more models to come. 

Drivers can choose from a financing option to full ownership of the vehicle or an option to return the vehicle after a minimum term. In the future, Uber plans to make a third option available with more rental and ownership offerings.

“Two-thirds of drivers have told us they want to make the switch to an EV, but the number one barrier to doing so is the upfront cost of the car,” Dom Taylor, general manager of Uber Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement. “Through our new partnership with EVDirect, we are addressing that challenge head-on. Our goal is to provide drivers and delivery people a range of flexible options that make it easier than ever to get behind the wheel of an EV.”

Uber’s Electric Strategy

Uber has already advanced its electric push, with 1.2 million Uber rides taken in an EV in the third quarter of 2023 alone, the company noted. During that period, there were 2,400 EVs on the Uber platform, way up from the fewer than 100 that were operating in 2021. 

“In 2020, we announced our ambition to eliminate tailpipe emissions on the Uber platform by 2040, and in 2021, we took a conscious decision as a business to invest ahead of the curve here in Australia,” Taylor said. “Today we’re thrilled to see our EV flywheel propelling us forward – with our first fully-electric product and a major partnership to make even more EVs available to Uber drivers and delivery people.”

Finally, to accelerate EV adoption in Victoria, which has been “slower than hoped,” Uber announced an additional 500 places in its Service Fee Reduction program. The program offers drivers a reduction in service fees by 50%, up to $3,500 per financial year, through June 2025.

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