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CROSS-BORDER: Will Uber’s generous electric vehicle incentives shift more driver licensing to London?

Image credit: DALL.E (AI generated)

Will Uber’s electric vehicle incentives shift more driver licensing to London? Uber’s latest initiative, a series of electric vehicle (EV) incentives, aims to help private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers in London make the shift to more greener vehicles.

However, the suite of financial benefits are so appealing, this could potentially further divert the flow of licensing from authorities like Crawley Council to Transport for London (TfL).

Uber, in partnership with various stakeholders, have implemented new measures aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles among its drivers. The introduction of a £5,000 ‘Power-up Grant’ from Uber’s Clean Air Plan allows drivers to offset the cost of a new or pre-owned EV. This grant is further bolstered by substantial discounts on selected EV models, with savings ranging from £12,000 to £17,000. When combined, these incentives offer a total potential saving of up to £22,000.

As of end of May, TfL has 106,575 licensed PHV drivers, but not all of those operate within the TfL boundaries, with some choosing locations like Gatwick Airport to work from. The full impact of Uber’s EV incentives on the distribution of driver licences remains to be seen, but the potential for a shift is there.

This potential increase in London comes against the backdrop of an intriguing licensing trend in places like Wolverhampton. A Freedom of Information request revealed a significant pattern: 96% of the taxi and PHV drivers licensed in Wolverhampton in the past year actually reside outside the council area. Specifically, 20,375 out of 21,188 drivers licensed in Wolverhampton live elsewhere.

With Uber now offering up to £22,000 in financial incentives for TfL-licensed drivers, a shift in licensing dynamics in the London region could be on the horizon. This could entice drivers to choose London’s licensing authority over others, particularly for those looking to invest and save heavily on an EV.

TaxiPoint contacted TfL but they declined to comment.


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