In 2017, Uber announced its plans to be fully electric in London by 2025. Now the service has taken a new step to achieve this goal: it has teamed up with British automaker Arrival to develop an electric car specifically for driving in hail. The companies are developing an affordable electric vehicle that is focused on driver comfort as moving cars travel much more miles than private cars and offer passengers a premium experience.
Before this collaboration, Arrival worked on electric vans and buses for business use. People in North America and Europe could see them in action in the near future as UPS has already ordered 10,000 of its newly unveiled electric vehicles. TechCrunch says Arrival is entering the electric car field for the first time and will be consulting and working with Uber drivers to pull a design out of the hat that meets the partnership criteria. The companies have released models of what the electric vehicle might look like (see above and below), but they won’t release the final design until late 2021 at the earliest. They expect the Arrival EV to go into production in the third quarter of 2023.
Uber drivers in London can apply for EV assistance under the Clean Air Plan if they want to use an electric vehicle for the service. In fact, the company raised £ 135 million to help drivers with the cost of changing vehicles. Uber hasn’t elaborated on when or how drivers can request an arrival car, but it will likely be an option once it becomes available. Drivers switching to electric vehicles will also benefit from Uber Green, the option that allows passengers to specifically request all-electric vehicles. The EV driving service expanded to 1,400 new North American cities in January and came to London in March.