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Passengers’ fury at new 15p-a-mile ‘clean air fee’ to pay for new cars

‘Why are WE paying for an Uber driver to get an electric car?’ Passenger fury at new 15p-a-mile ‘clean air fee’ to help London drivers buy greener vehicles – and you even get charged if they’ve already got one!

  • Uber is under fire for its 15p-a-mile ‘clean air fee’ which affects all London trips 
  • The minicab app firm expects that the scheme will raise more than £200million
  • It will help pay for drivers to switch to eco cars, in effect upgrading Uber’s fleet
  • Users ask why firm isn’t deducting fee from drivers of non-electric cars instead

Furious Uber passengers have hit out after discovering the firm is charging a ‘clean air’ fee of 15p extra per mile to help its London drivers switch to electric cars.

Customers have demanded an explanation for the ‘ridiculous’ new charge, with many threatening to boycott the tax-hailing app after questioning why the company is not footing the bill itself.

One angry passenger slammed Uber on Twitter, writing: ‘Why the hell are we paying for the driver to get an electric car?’ He said the ‘joke’ charge was ‘taking the p***’, while another customer asked: ‘Surely this should go to the drivers?’

The new fee, which was introduced by Uber last month, is for all rides in London, and even includes trips in which the driver already has an electric car.

Uber expects the scheme to raise more than £200million in the coming years, in a move it claims will help workers convert to eco-friendly vehicles as it tries to win back its permanent licence from the Transport for London (TfL).

The taxi app says the charge will add around 45p to an average trip, but one customer moaned how a journey from Heathrow had cost him almost £5 in a ‘clean air fee’ alone.

Uber passengers in London have hit out after discovering that the firm is charging a ‘clean air’ fee of 15p extra per mile to help its drivers switch to electric cars

Uber expects the fee to add around 45p on an average trips, but passengers are questioning why the firm is not funding the initiative through its own profits


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An angry Priyam Gajjar tweeted: ‘Uber you’re taking the p*** with the clean air fee.

‘Why the hell are we paying for the driver to get an electric car!! What a joke. Never using Uber again.’

How the Uber ‘clean air’ fee works 

The new fee works out at 15p-per-mile and is for all London trips.

Uber hopes it will raise £200million in the coming years. 

A London driver using the app for an average of 40 hours per week will then be offered around £3,000 towards the purchase cost of an electric car from the fund.

The clean air fee will not include miles travelled to a passenger’s pick up location and will not be affected by dynamic pricing.

It wants 20,000 cars on its app in London to be fully electric by the end of 2021, increasing to every car by 2025. 

Twitter user @Yaz_Aboubakar wrote: ‘Uber is charging 15p clean air fee per mile in London.

‘Surely, Uber can use some of its profit to upgrade to environment friendly vehicles and not having to pass the responsibility to customers. Ridiculous.’

Russell Quirk added: ‘Mandatory 15p per mile #UberTax from January to ‘help drivers buy electric cars’ in wake of London’s Clean Air efforts.

‘How do we know it will all end up channelled as promised? And with their value, shouldn’t @uber be footing the bill?’

Another Twitter user called @ShammyOmar wrote: ‘Why am I being charged for clean air fee, @Uber? Surely this should go to the drivers?!’

‘I do not have any say in a drivers choice of car so I don’t understand why I’m being charged this extra fee.’

When the plan was announced in October last year, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said: ‘Our £200million Clean Air Plan is a long-term investment in the future of London aimed at going all-electric in the capital in 2025.’

A Mayor of London spokesman said at the time that Uber’s recognition on the importance of clean air was a ‘positive step’.

Users called the exercise a ‘marketing stunt’, as they asked why Uber did not deduct the fee from drivers of non-electric vehicles into of charging users extra

Uber expects the fee to add around 45p on an average trips, but passengers are questioning why the firm is not funding the initiative through its own profits

In October 2017, London mayor Sadiq Khan introduced a £10 toxicity charge for older, more polluting vehicles in the centre of the capital.

This will be replaced by an Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will create stricter emissions standards for diesel vehicles at all times, from April.

In June, a judge granted Uber a short-term operating licence in London after its permit was initially not renewed over safety concerns.

The firm conceded it had made ‘serious mistakes’ and Transport for London was correct in its renewal decision, but told an appeal hearing it had made ‘wholesale’ reforms.

Uber said a driver working an average of 40 hours per week will be given around £3,000 towards the purchase cost of an electric vehicle in two years.

It wants 20,000 cars on its app in London to be fully electric by the end of 2021, increasing to every car by 2025.

There are currently around 45,000 Uber drivers in the capital.

MailOnline has contacted Uber for comment.

The minicab app firm expects the scheme to raise more than £200 million in the coming years, in a move it claims will help workers convert to eco-friendly vehicles

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