Uber Technologies (UBER -3.41%) is taking another step to build its ride-hailing business for the future. The company is partnering with UK-based electric vehicle (EV) maker Arrival (ARVL -4.73%) to design and build affordable, purpose-built EVs for ride-hailing drivers. And Uber drivers will have a hand in the design process.
Uber already has Uber Green, which allows riders to choose an EV or hybrid ride option. In some Uber Green locations, customers pay a $1 surcharge, half of which goes directly to the driver, and the other half toward supporting EV adoption. Uber has committed to becoming a fully electric platform by 2025 in London and by 2030 across North America and Europe.
Arrival estimates there are more than 30 million ride-hailing drivers globally, and said it seeks to transition the sector to EVs to reduce emissions and improve air quality in cities. The EV maker says ride-hailing vehicles typically drive up to four times more annual miles than average vehicles. It will use input from Uber drivers to "ensure the Arrival Car reflects the needs of professional drivers and their passengers." Arrival plans to have the final vehicle design revealed by the end of this year, and to begin production in the third quarter of 2023.
Uber Green recently launched in London, with no added cost to the passenger as Uber aims to have a fully electric platform there by 2025. Jamie Heywood, Uber's regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said, "Our focus is now on encouraging drivers to use this money to help them upgrade to an electric vehicle, and our partnership with Arrival will help us achieve this goal."