Uber announces plan to accelerate rollout of EVs on Australian roads


In an effort to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia, Uber has partnered with finance firm Splend to secure 500 EVs and offer discounted loans on the cars to its drivers in New South Wales (NSW).

The announcement, part of Uber’s commitment to become a zero-emission platform by 2040, comes amid record-breaking sales for EVs in Australia despite ongoing supply constraints.

Recent sales figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show more than 7,200 EVs were sold in September, outnumbering sales of all hybrid vehicles. Australians have purchased more than 21,700 EVs in 2022 but the FCAI warned logistical and supply chain issues remain problematic.

Uber Australia and New Zealand general manager Dom Taylor said that with electric cars in short supply in Australia, the deal with Splend will make it easier for rideshare drivers to make the switch to EVs.

“We know there are many barriers for Australians when it comes to driving an electric vehicle, not the least being limited supply and the cost of the car itself,” he said. “With this partnership, we are building new pathways and making it easier than ever for more driver partners to go electric.”

The deal will see 500 Polestar 2 vehicles, which retail for $66,940 on road, offered to Uber drivers in NSW through Splend’s rent-to-own financing. Uber will halve its service fees up to $6,000 annually for drivers who take up EVs, and Splend will offer discounted weekly payments and home-charging solutions.

The majority of the EVs are expected to be delivered before year’s end with the remainder arriving in early 2023.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the partnership between Uber and Splend, which received $1.8 million in funding from the NSW government’s Drive Electric initiative in July, was encouraging and could bring “more EVs to city streets, and faster”.

“Australia’s transition to electric vehicles is a priority at all levels of government, and we’re encouraged to see this kind of collaboration in the private sector,” he said.

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