- Uber has signed an agreement with Nissan to introduce a fleet of 2,000 Leaf hatchbacks for its drivers.
- The deal is part of a broader push from the company to go all-electric in London from 2025.
- It comes as Uber appeals a decision from regulators to ban it from operating in London.
The ride-hailing operator has signed an agreement with Nissan to introduce a fleet of 2,000 of the Japanese automaker's Leaf hatchbacks for drivers using its app in Britain. While the deal is technically open to all U.K. drivers, it's primarily targeted at those working in London.
It's part of a broader push from Uber to tackle air pollution in the U.K. capital by ensuring all of its vehicles are fully electric by 2025. In 2018, the company announced plans to charge passengers in London 15 pence per mile on every trip to help its drivers buy electric cars.
That fee has so far helped raise over £80 million ($105 million) since its introduction, Uber said, and it expects to pull in £200 million in total over the next few years. Uber said it's seen a 350% increase in rides being taken with electric vehicles since the clean air charge was introduced.
The deal with Nissan arrives at a difficult time for the company, which faces being blocked in the U.K.'s capital after Transport for London (TfL) stripped it of its license. Uber has since appealed the move, and can continue operating in the city while it fights the ban in the courts.
Uber's vehicle of choice, the Nissan Leaf, is among the best-selling electric cars with over 450,000 sales. It's unclear what discount will be provided to drivers and Uber hasn't disclosed any of the financial details of its deal with Nissan. The Leaf comes at a starting price of £26,345 in the U.K., while the government offers grants of up to £3,500 for plug-in cars.
The company's efforts on clean energy aren't a coincidence. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made it his priority to clean up the city's dirty air, imposing a strict daily charge of £12.50 on drivers of older, polluting petrol and diesel vehicles in an area that's been dubbed the "ultra low emission zone."