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Ride-Hailing could be the key to decarbonising Europe's transport system

In a bid to uphold Europe's commitment to the Paris Agreement and combat climate change, a recent report by BloombergNEF (BNEF) commissioned by Uber highlights the imperative need for accelerated electrification within the ride-hailing sector. Titled ‘Driving the Next Phase of Electric Mobility in Europe,’ the report underscores the pivotal role ride-hailing services can play in decarbonizing the continent's transportation landscape.

Currently, road transport contributes approximately 18% of global CO2 emissions, necessitating urgent action to mitigate its environmental impact. While strides have been made in curbing emissions, particularly within the ride-hailing domain, further impetus is essential for the sector to align with zero-emission goals. Notably, the report reveals that in major European cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid, and Paris, nearly 10% of ride-hailing kilometers are now facilitated by battery electric vehicles, a stark contrast to the general population's usage of such vehicles, which stands at approximately 2%.


Source: BloombergNEF


The report outlines key challenges and proposes potential solutions to expedite the decarbonization process within the transport industry. Emphasizing that these measures extend beyond on-demand transport, the report asserts their capacity to catalyze transformative change throughout the broader mobility ecosystem.

Four central challenges and opportunities are delineated in the report, all tailored to address the European market's specific dynamics. These insights not only underscore the pressing need for electrification within the ride-hailing sector but also advocate for a holistic approach to sustainable mobility, positioning Europe at the forefront of the global drive towards a greener transportation future.


Source: BloombergNEF


Summary Recommendations

Improving battery electric vehicle (BEV) adoption among ride-hailing drivers requires tailored mechanisms for each country and city. High-impact, achievable initiatives for each challenge area are summarized below.

Challenge 1: Increase affordable BEV supply for ride-hailing

- Policymakers and automakers should uphold decarbonization commitments and phase out ICE vehicles.
- Provide guidance to drivers on current BEV capabilities and benefits.

Challenge 2: Reduce transition costs to BEVs compared to ICE vehicles

- Prioritize incentives for high-mileage drivers as BEV purchase incentives phase down.
- Link subsidies and taxes to vehicle performance and usage metrics.
- Promote used BEV supply through corporate electrification targets.

Challenge 3: Lower BEV charging costs, especially for drivers without home access

- Make public overnight charging affordable with off-peak electricity access and tax adjustments.
- Expedite public EV charging deployments through streamlined processes.
- Decrease DC fast charging costs by aggregating vehicle power demand.

Challenge 4: Incorporate BEV incentives into urban policymaking

- Highlight benefits of restricted vehicle zones for BEVs.
- Use access or pricing incentives for priority lanes and parking to drive BEV adoption in emerging markets.

In conclusion, the diligent implementation of the outlined recommendations across diverse jurisdictions promises to catalyze a transformative shift towards a more inclusive, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable landscape in the ride-hailing sector. Such measures hold the potential to establish battery electric vehicles as the cornerstone of tomorrow's urban mobility solutions, fostering benefits for drivers and communities alike.


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