Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Research released by ride-hailing app FREE NOW has revealed how consumer demand for eco-options is growing fast - with nearly two thirds of the nation factoring in sustainability when it comes to selecting a mode of public or private transport, and almost nine out of ten admitting they are worried about climate change.
The research follows FREE NOW's move to offer customers electric taxis by default as part of its Green Pledge commitment to champion a more sustainable future. In an industry-first, FREE NOW has switched from diesel and petrol cars to make electric vehicles the default first option for customers.
According to the research, which involved surveying 1,000 UK adults in September 2021, almost all said that businesses should make it easier to adopt greener habits through their services, and three in five confirmed that they would prefer electric to be the default option offered by taxi apps, even if it costs them extra.
Over a quarter say they are happy to pay more to travel in an electric taxi, with a similar number prepared to cough up up to 5% more than the fixed price of a journey.
Ahead of the forthcoming ULEZ expansion in the capital, 60% of those surveyed nationwide also think there are too many private cars on the road - nearly 1 in 5 say that private car dependency is one of the main transport issues in their area.
The findings also show that the younger generations are more likely to have climate change at the top of their agenda, with those aged 29 and under most concerned about sustainability when they select a mode of transport, compared to less than half of people aged 60-69.
FREE NOW has recently recorded a huge demand from the public for environmentally friendly transport choices, with trips in electric vehicles soaring by 135% between Jan and September 2021 and 35% more electric vehicle taxi drivers joining the app.
Mariusz Zabrocki, UK General Manager at FREE NOW, said: “Making electric vehicles the default taxi option for customers forms part of our wider Green Pledge commitment for all vehicles on our app to be zero-emission capable by 2025. We are already the largest electric fleet platform in the UK but want to go further faster and make choosing electric vehicles even easier for drivers as well as customers.
“This year alone, we have seen a 135% uplift in passengers opting for EVs, and a 35% increase in EV drivers on the platform. These figures reflect the growing demand for sustainable options within the ride-hailing industry, highlighting again that transitioning to zero carbon/low emission vehicles is not just the right thing to do but also good business sense.”