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Update: London has revoked Uber’s license to operate in the city, prompting the new CEO to plea for further discussion. It remains to be seen what the Uber outcome will be, but the trend toward hybrids and EVs remains apparent.

Earlier this month, Uber announced that all of its London-based drivers (40,000 of them) will be required to switch their vehicles to either hybrid or all-electric by the end of 2019. This move will expand across the UK by the end of 2021. You can read the full article from Green Car Reports, but we’ve laid out the key points here.

Uber will:

  • Require electric only vehicles in London by 2025
  • Establish a £150 million ($198 million) clean-air fund for grants to help drivers switch
  • Kick off this fund with an initial £2 million ($2.6 million) contribution
  • Add a surcharge of 35p (46 cents) to every ride booked within London
  • Encourage drivers of the oldest (pre-Euro 4) diesel vehicles to scrap them by offering them £1,500 ($1,980) in Uber credits to use for ride sharing instead

Uber’s head of UK cities, Fred Jones: “Air pollution is a growing problem, and we’re determined to play our part in tackling it with this bold plan.”

Meanwhile, throughout Europe:

  • Many European cities have announced plans to ban diesel vehicles from their central areas
  • Euro diesel-emission standards have caught up to the US
  • German manufacturers have agreed to reprogram recent diesel cars to reduce emissions and buy back older/dirtier diesels
  • Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover said all future models will include electrified versions
  • It’s rumored that German manufacturers will introduce their last all-new internal-combustion engine lines by 2022 or so, and end full-scale engine development by 2025

We recommend keeping an eye on Uber’s efforts in London, as well as the entire electrification of Europe. As this transition spreads back across the pond, you can bet it will quickly work its way into California and the U.S. If you’d like to capitalize on this shift early and get ahead of your competition, give us a call.