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Advantage, Uber: New electric ride options debut ahead of Australian Open

Uber Australia is opening up its Comfort Electric rideshare option to all Australians.

From late 2023, premium electric cars were able to be reserved by Uber Business customers only, however as of today any Uber One customer can request a fully electric Uber ride.

All other app users will gain access on January 29, 2024.

“Uber Green has been the fastest growing product I’ve ever been involved in, with Aussies notching up more than half a million trips across hybrid and electric vehicles in one week of last year alone,” said managing director for Uber Australia and New Zealand Dom Taylor.

“The demand shows customers want more rides in more electric vehicles, and we’re helping driver partners plug into that demand with a new premium Comfort Electric product that fills a gap in the market for environmentally conscious riders that want a bit more luxury with their green ride.” 

Uber One customers will be able to unlock complimentary Uber rides to and from the Australian Open thanks to a partnership between Uber and Kia Australia.

To be eligible for the free ride (valued at up to $100) customers will need to request a ride between January 14 and the tournament decider on January 28. An eligible Uber driver operating a select few Kia EV6 or EV9 models, will need to accept the fare.

Kia Australia will loan 30 of its electric SUVs to Uber drivers over the Australian Open period.

Uber One members will see a Kia Electric trip on their apps if they are travelling to and from the Australian Open, within a 5km radius of the courts.

The company says drivers will receive 100 per cent of the complimentary fare amount as Kia Australia will foot the bill.

“We’ve chosen Melbourne to launch this experience because despite doing thousands of EV trips nationally every day, the adoption of EVs on our platform has been slower than we’d hoped in Australia’s unofficial sporting capital,” said Mr Taylor.

“We’re optimistic partnerships, like this one with Kia, delight riders but importantly make it easier for local driver partners to see the benefit of making the switch to EVs – to prove the customer interest is just as hot here in Victoria as it is across the country.”

Uber Australia plans to offer a zero-emissions platform for its drivers and riders by 2040.

The company is rewarding its drivers who use electric vehicles for rideshare trips by reducing service fees by 50 per cent, however Uber drivers must apply for the service-free reduction program to be eligible for the discount.

It announced in October 2023 it was opening an additional 500 spots in the program for Victorian drivers to increase electric vehicle adoption in the state.

“Two-thirds of drivers have told us they want to make the switch to an EV, but the number one barrier to doing so is the upfront cost of the car,” said Mr Taylor in 2023.

Uber Australia announced in October 2023 that it was partnering with BYD’s local distributor EVDirect to offer 10,000 BYD Atto 3s to its drivers.

The BYD EVs will be available through a range of options including long-term financing that ends in full ownership of the vehicle, as well as a flexible ownership arrangement with the option to return the vehicle after a minimum term.


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