What Is Uber Green and How Does It Work?

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uber green

Everyone knows the importance of sustainable transportation.

During lockdowns, the air pollution levels decreased thanks to the absence of traffic. We all appreciated the blue sky of our cities.

COP 26 is upon us, however there is a lot of misinformation flying around, green cars and eco friendly transportation.

In this article we focus on Uber Green. You will learn everything you have to know about the green mobility option of the Uber app, including the pricing, availability.

We will also discuss the social impact of transportation services like Uber and propose sustainable rides alternatives. As citizens of this world we can all do something to keep the air cleaner, especially using green transportation options.

1. What Is Uber Green

Uber Green is a ride option on the Uber app that let you request a ride with an an electric or hybrid vehicle for more sustainable mobility. #uberGreen #whatIsUberGreen

So, what is Uber Green? UberGreen is one of Uber's products. An option in the Uber app that allows you to request a ride with a hybrid or electric vehicle for more sustainable mobility.

Basically, Uber allows you to book a ride with electric or hybrid vehicles that emit 20 to 80% less CO2 than a vehicle running with gas, at the same price as UberX.

A few things to know:

  • If you request an UberX ride you can also do your ride in a "clean" vehicle
  • the UberPremium formula is about 60% more expensive than a trip in UberX or UberGreen. Take a look at our article and learn more about Uber fares.
  • The vehicles of the UberGreen option range from Hybrid cars to "zero emission" vehicles. However you cannot choose to have a 100% full electric car.
  • UberGreen is integrated like all the other ride options in the "Uber" app

2. Where are the Uber Green Rides Available?

While you can take a ride with Uber in more than 80 countries around the world, the Uber green cars are not available in all the cities where Uber operates.

The Uber electric car option is available in more than 1,400 cities around the world including Austin, Houston, Miami, New York City, London and Paris.

You can check your city option in this page, head on over to city’s web page on the Uber website.

The ride options on the page are a sample of Uber's products available in your city.

You can also check the different car rides options by downloading the Uber app. Open the app you' ll see what rides you can request.

what is uber green

3. How Does Uber Green Option Work?

For Riders

When it comes to rides, the San Francisco headquartered company offers a lot of options. From carpool rides to non-urgent medical rides, there is a big choice.

Green trips are one of the Uber options. The Uber app available on iOS or Android mobile devices lets you request an EV or hybrid ride with a few taps in your smartphone.

  1. Open and log into the Uber app on your device.
  2. Type your destination into the “Where to?” section.
  3. Select the Uber Green option at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap “request” and then confirm the pickup location.

There are several things to keep in mind as you want to start to use the Green rideshare mode:

  • The range of vehicles available on UberGreen varies by model. If you want to request a long distance ride with Uber, the green option with electric cars is probably not the right one.
  • When you request a trip you can either ride EVs or Uber hybrid cars
  • UberGreen rides are subject to surge pricing and the same cancellation policy of Uber X rides.
  • Eco friendly rides can be scheduled in advance very similar to all the other rides options. Take a look at our guide and learn more about the Uber schedule ride option.

For Drivers

If you are an Uber driver, you can automatically provide Green rides in the USA where the option is available. You do not need to upgrade your app or contact the driver support. You will automatically receive green requests if you have the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have a low emission hybrid car or EV vehicle
  • Your car meet Uber X requirements (Take a look at our complete guide to Uber car requirements)

An example of Uber Green cars include:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Tesla models
  • Toyota Camry
  • Rav4 Hybrid
  • Hyundai IONIQ electric

The situation is different in European countries. Uber is currently banned in Hungary and Bulgaria and in some of the cities of Italy, Netherlands and Finland.

The green project is a recipe of success and the ride share company is increasing their green policies in Europe. Recently the European Commission, recognized the goal of Uber to be an electric platform by 2030 and welcomed Uber in the EU Climate Pact.

In London Uber is committed to helping drivers switch from gas powered cars to EVs. If you are an Uber partner and want to drive an electric car, Uber will support you via the ‘Clean Air Plan’.

In addition to receive government subsidies for being environmentally conscious, benefits of electric cars include:

  • Low maintenance
  • Gas Saving money (You can save between $3000 and $4000 every year)

So, are you thinking about using Nissan Leaf for Uber? Here is our review. Nissan Leaf is a 100% electric vehicle. It has a range of around 149 miles.

Different charging methods exist, the fastest of which can charge the vehicle to 80% in just 30 minutes. The more traditional charging stations offer 100% charging in about 8 hours.

4. UberX Vs Uber Green

What is the difference between uberX and uber green, you might wonder?

Our UberX vs Uber Green comparison should come in handy if you're just deciding between the two types of Uber rides.

First of all, an Uber Green trip costs $1 more than a regular UberX.

Every time you take an eco-friendly ride, your driver will earn $0.50 more; the other $0.50 will go toward the Green Future program, which will help hundreds of thousands of other drivers transition to battery electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025.

When it comes to rewards points, Uber wants to incentivize users to choose the green option.

Indeed, riders using Uber Green will receive 3x Uber Rewards points for every trip taken, compared to 2x points for a UberX ride.

👀 Related Article: What is UberX

5. Sustainability And Uber

Since Uber began operating, it has been the center of attention for many questions and concerns including their business model, the safety for passengers and the social impacts of the company, especially when it comes to workers’ rights.

Additionally while Uber has repeatedly stated the company’s objective to directly compete with car ownership, some research shows that the company has actively contributed to increasing traffic congestion.

In September 2020, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced the Uber zero emissions commitment.

Uber rides are not carbon neutral. However the ride share app is committed to become a fully zero-emission platform by 2040.

Actions speak louder than words and investors are looking forward to seeing Uber grow rapidly.

In addition to the expansion of Uber Green, the San Francisco headquartered company recently choose to focus in other actions to fight climate change including:

  • Helping drivers transition to EVs: Uber is committing more than $800 million in resources to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to battery EVs by 2025.
  • Investing in sustainable alternatives: You can unlock bikes and scooters directly from the Uber app. Lime is fully integrated in more than 55 cities around the world.
  • Be transparent: Uber wants to be a transparent company. You can take a look at their Climate Assessment and Performance Report, where you can see an in-depth analysis of grams CO2 emitted per passenger mile traveled per mode in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco.

In December 2020 Uber joined The Climate Pledge.

The Climate Pledge is one of the global warming organizations and a cross-sector community of companies committed to cut down carbon emissions by 2040.

Amazon was the first signatory of The Climate Pledge in 2019.

Currently there are more than 201 companies. The signatories of this document agree to:

  • Declare their greenhouse gas production on a regular basis.
  • Comply with the Paris climate agreements on emissions targets for 2040.
  • Achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

In February 2021, Uber started to offer in Mexico a new ride option called Uber Planet which will allow users to offset the carbon footprint of their requested trips through the Uber app.

The Uber Planet trip option was previously called Uber Eco in Costa Rica, where it was first available in Latin America.

This move is definitely a step in the right direction, but perhaps if you want to approach the climate change problem the right way, the green ride app is to consider more like a problem and not the solution of a problem.

6. Choose Sustainable Transportation

According to an OECD report, sustainable transport is defined as "Transportation that does not endanger public health or ecosystems and meets mobility needs consistent with use of renewable resources at below their rates of regeneration and use of non-renewable resources at below the rates of development of renewable substitutes.”.

So, which mode of transport is the most environmentally friendly? Using the lowest carbon footprint means of transportation is crucial in our fight against climate change. Find below some sustainable transportation ideas:

1. Carpooling 🚗

When driving your emissions will depend not only on the type of vehicle you use but also on the number of passengers. Carpooling is one of the existing alternatives to EV rides which are more ecological.

Carpooling for a distance of 10 miles generates 1095 gCO2e, which is the equivalent of 67% less than for a solo trip by car.

According to Nicolas Brusson, CEO at BlaBlaCar, a study demonstrated that by optimizing the efficiency of buses, and the objective of zero empty seats on the road, carpooling saved 272,746 tonnes of CO2 in 2019 alone. Take a look at our BlaBlaCar review .

So, if you are looking for a more sustainable commuting option, you should probably consider Uber Pool.

The UberPool option allows you to share your journey with another user going in the same direction, thus reducing the number of vehicles in circulation and thus reducing urban pollution.

Note that in 2015-2016, passengers who used UberPool helped by sharing their trips to save millions of miles of driving.

If you are an US reader, Waze Carpool is a valid alternative to Blablacar.

2. Ride a Bike 🚴

The bicycle remains one of the best means of transport because it does not consume any fossil fuels. In addition, we can say that it is the most efficient means of transportation for short distances.

Its speed makes it equivalent to the average speed of a car in town.

A classic bike creates 2 gCO2e / km, which is 4.5 times less than a conventional thermal car, while an electric bike creates 2.5 to 5 grams of carbon dioxide per mile.

3. Use the tram, to travel green 🚊

The tram is the least polluting of city transport with 3.3 gCO2 / km per passenger. Everyone knows the environmental benefits of public transportation.

Many cities around the world are enhancing their public transportation systems with new technologies, cleaner fuels, and better service.

4. Walk To Move At Your Own Pace 🚶

Walking has benefits for everyone's lives and for the planet too. There's plenty of benefits to your own health and you will reduce the air pollution.

Walking also reduces noise pollution and helps local wildlife to stay and thrive.

Ride Green

Now you know everything about the Uber Green rides option. Next time you have to request a ride on the Uber app, request an eco-friendly ride. Sustainable growth is possible if we invest decisively in a cleaner economy.

Finally, changing the way we travel can play a surprisingly big role in helping to protect the environment. Do not forget to wear the most comfortable shoes and ...happy walk.

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