Uber pledges that 25% of kilometres travelled in Dubai will be emission-free by 2026

Platform lowers Uber Green fares in the UAE to match UberX as part of its sustainability drive

Pia El Hachem (right), general manager for Uber UAE and Levant, said the latest pledge 'paves the way for us to further expand our [sustainability] efforts across the region'. Photo: Uber
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Ride-hailing giant Uber has pledged to make 25 per cent of the kilometres travelled in Dubai using its platform emission-free by 2026, as the UAE seeks to achieve its sustainable mobility goals.

The emirate could also soon become one of Uber’s top cities for electrical vehicles (EVs) globally, as 10 per cent of total trips in the city are completed with an EV, Uber said on Friday.

It announced the new emission-free target at it aims to become a fully zero-emission platform by 2040.

“This pledge paves the way for us to further expand our [sustainability] efforts across the region,” Pia El Hachem, general manager for Uber UAE and Levant, said in a statement.

“The UAE is one of our fastest-growing markets globally when it comes to EV transition, where we have made great strides that turned our ambitions into reality, with several products and initiatives already launched and more that we aim to introduce in the future.”

The pledge comes after Andrew Macdonald, Uber's senior vice president for mobility, told The National in October that the company planned to double the rides completed with its electric vehicle or hybrid fleet in the Emirates to make up 20 per cent of all trips by the end of 2023.

The UAE, the commercial and tourism hub of the Middle East, is also a key part of San Francisco-based Uber's global $800 million Green Future programme to help subsidise the consumer switch to EVs, Mr Macdonald said.

The EV market continues to grow amid a global shift towards energy conservation and adherence to sustainability and climate change goals.

Manufacturers of EVs are expected to deliver about 15 million units globally in 2023, a year-on-year surge of nearly 35 per cent, as regulations to curb emissions tighten, according to a September study by Gartner.

Uber also plans to launch a Rider Emission Savings feature in 2024, which will show passengers the emissions they've avoided by choosing an Uber Green option instead of UberX.

It will also show them how they compare with other riders, highlighting how each saving makes a difference as part of a larger effort by customers across the world.

“As part of our ongoing efforts, we have adjusted the pricing of our Uber Green option in the UAE; lowering fares to match our most affordable option, UberX,” Ms El Hachem said.

“Through this change, we aim to encourage riders using the platform to opt for more sustainable options and contribute towards lower emissions.”

Smart mobility has been a key theme in the UAE, with the government rolling out initiatives promoting its use and adoption.

The country is just days away from hosting the UN climate summit Cop28 where it will seek to hold the world to its promise of limiting global temperatures to no higher than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The Cop28 climate conference will be held at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

Updated: November 24, 2023, 10:10 AM