What's green, silent and also perhaps your next Uber ride across London? Why, a !
Uber partnered up with Nissan to deliver 100 battery-electric Leaf vehicles to Uber drivers who rent cars for use in Britain's capital. Uber claims the rental rate will be "competitive with most popular hybrid cars," although it declined to mention specifics. The first of these 100 cars will land at Uber rental partners next week.
You may get the warm-and-fuzzies from using an electric car as an Uber in a congested city like London, but with a range hovering around 100 miles with its largest battery, the Leaf won't be able to stray too far from chargers.
Uber clearly thought of that, because it's also rolling out a network of 50-kW fast chargers in the center of the city. At first, Uber will limit these chargers to drivers using the Uber app, in order to prevent drivers from arriving at a charger that some random person has occupied. The 50-kW chargers can provide as much as 80 percent of a battery's capacity in less than an hour.
The charging network rollout is still in its early stages, and an Uber spokeswoman told us that the company hopes to have its network up and running "in the coming months." Early adopters of Uber's EV program might have a bit of a hard time staying juiced up.
Once the network is up and running, though, finding a charger won't be hard. Uber will tweak its app to allow EV drivers to pick up trips that place them near one of the chargers. So, even though there's still a bit of downtime, it won't be far away from riders looking to drop some coin.