Uber has announced a new partnership with British electric vehicle start-up Arrival, which will see the pair producing a purpose-built electric vehicle for ride-hailing drivers.
Set to enter production in the third quarter of 2023, the electric vehicle will join Arrival’s previously announced commercial vehicles – the Bus and Van – and will be designed in partnership with Uber, with the ride-hailing firm’s drivers now being invited to join the design process in order to make it better suited to their needs. Both Arrival and Uber will also ‘explore a strategic relationship in key markets’, too.
Tom Elvidge, senior vice president of Arrival Mobility UK said: “We are confident that electrifying ride-hailing vehicles will have an outsized impact on cities, and we are keen to support drivers as they manage this transition. Arrival Car will be designed around drivers’ needs to create a vehicle that is affordable, durable and desirable.
“We have a great partnership with UPS to create a best-in-class electric delivery vehicle, and we hope to replicate that success with Uber as we develop the best possible product for ride-hailing that elevates the experience of the passenger and improves drivers’ health, safety and finances.”
A typical ride-hailing vehicle will, according to Arrival, travel between 45-50,000km a year (27,961-31,068 miles), meaning that a switch to an electric powertrain could have a real impact on both emissions and running costs. Over 30 million estimated drivers currently operate in the ride-hailing sector, too.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe said: “As our cities open up we have an opportunity to make sure that urban transport is cleaner than ever before. Uber is committed to helping every driver in London upgrade to an EV by 2025, and thanks to our Clean Air Plan more than £135m has been raised to support this ambition.
“Our focus is now on encouraging drivers to use this money to help them upgrade to an electric vehicle, and our partnership with Arrival will help us achieve this goal.”