Having Given Up On Flying Cars And Autonomous Ones, Uber Wants Its Drivers To Buy Their Own EVs

Illustration for article titled Having Given Up On Flying Cars And Autonomous Ones, Uber Wants Its Drivers To Buy Their Own EVs
Image: Arrival

Uber, the entity that previously said it would bring us the autonomous car and flying taxis is now asking you to believe that its partnership with a UK startup called Arrival will contribute to Arrival putting an electric car designed for use by ride-share drivers into production in two years. Arrival would like you to know that the car will not be exclusively for Uber.

Advertisement

Uber recently announced what it calls a plan to go zero emissions (in the U.S. and Canada) by 2030. To do that, it plans to “help” Uber drivers—who drive and are responsible for maintaining their own cars and who Uber has spent millions to deny employee status to—transition to electric cars by 2025. The entity, which depends on hundreds of millions of dollars in investor money to operate, has pledged $800 million to make that transition happen.

As part of that larger plan, Uber said it will be EV-only in London by 2025, as Reuters reports, a sort of first beachhead. This, of course, will make Uber second. There already are electric cabs in the UK, thousands of them built, as London Cabs have gone all-electric. It happened since China’s Geely started building them a few years ago. They’re supposed to be quite good. Wonder why Uber didn’t just use those!

The program Uber calls Green Future is a combination of incentives (like drivers earning an extra $1 when driving an EV) and discounts on charging and EVs from either subscription services or automakers. Another piece of the plan is the recent partnership with Arrival.

Arrival is based in the UK and have plans for two products, called the Arrival Bus and the Arrival Van. The Bus is an electric city bus while the Van is an electric paneled delivery van. Both ride on the same modular architecture. All this is happening with backing from Hyundai/Kia.

The newest member of the lineup is called the Arrival Car. This is what Uber is involved with.

Illustration for article titled Having Given Up On Flying Cars And Autonomous Ones, Uber Wants Its Drivers To Buy Their Own EVs
Image: Arrival
Advertisement

While the final design for the Car hasn’t been finalized or revealed yet, Uber shared a a short teaser video showing what Arrival calls a microfactory.

While the exterior design is unknown, renders of the interior were released. Here they are.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Having Given Up On Flying Cars And Autonomous Ones, Uber Wants Its Drivers To Buy Their Own EVs
Image: Arrival

Arrival’s VP of mobility Tom Elvidge says the main goal is to build an affordable EV. We’ll see how it goes!

Jalopnik EIC '48 Willys CJ-2A, '84 Porsche 911, '15 VW GTI, '07 Lexus GX 470.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Dad. Lover of all things with 4 wheels. Weird interest in buses.

DISCUSSION

hornfels-comets
hornfels-comet

The simple fact that Uber can decree that it’s drivers will earn $1 more (per ride? per hour?) for driving an EV means that Uber is setting their driver’s pay and working conditions. This means that Uber drivers are employees, not private contractors. Real contractors negotiate their own pay rates and working conditions.