Uber to fund 700 London EV charge points in £5 million deal

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Uber is funding the £5 million installation of more than 700 electric vehicle charge points in three London boroughs.

The charge points in Newham, Brent and Redbridge are aimed at drivers who live in houses or flats without off-street parking or easy access to chargers. Large numbers of Uber drivers live in the three boroughs, and Uber claims 90% of new Uber drivers use fully electric cars.

The bulk of the investment is in Newham, where 400 charge points are being installed. The move will treble the number of public charge points from just 210 to more than 600. Overall, the 700 points will bring about a 7% increase in London’s total charge point number.

The charging points will not be exclusively for Uber drivers – instead they will be available for anyone to use.

Uber general manager for northern and eastern Europe Jamie Heywood said: “Drivers often tell me that being able to access reliable charging near their homes is critical to their decision to switch to an electric vehicle. By targeting investment where it is most needed, we are confident that thousands more drivers will make the switch to electric.”

The Uber-branded points are not rapid chargers – instead they are 7-22 kW AC chargers which are designed for overnight recharges, providing a full charge for a typical EV in around six hours.

Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “We know that residents want to do their part and many are changing over to electric vehicles, and the infrastructure is needed to ensure they can make that change and contribute to lower emissions.”

In a statement, Newham council said: “A procurement process led wholly by the council will now start to select a preferred charge point operator to provide, install, operate and maintain a network of public electric vehicle chargers in the borough.”

Uber claims 5,000 EVs are currently on the app in London, driving over 1 million electric miles per week. Uber said it was on track to double this number by the end of the year and to become an all-electric platform in the capital by 2025.