Londoners should turn to eBikes to improve air quality, says Uber

A widespread take-up of shared e-bikes in London could reduce CO2 emissions by 184 tonnes a day, according to a new report commissioned by ride-hailing app Uber, who recently acquired bike sharing app JUMP.

The report suggests the number of e-bike journeys could eventually account for 4.7% of total travel – more than double London’s current cycling population.

It claims this would also mean Londoners would spend 21,000 fewer hours waiting in traffic.

Commenting on the report, Uber’s general manager for UK & Ireland, Tom Elvidge, said: ‘The Mayor of London has set out a bold vision to reduce congestion and tackle air pollution in the capital and we’re determined to do everything we can to back it.

‘Combined with our £200 million Clean Air Plan, e-bikes could be a part of our mission to go all-electric in the capital in 2025.’

In smaller European cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, cycling makes up as much as 48% and 29% of total travel, while in large cities like London, commuters face several practical barriers, including greater distances to cover.

Uber estimates that between 81,000 to 163,000 new e-bikes would be required in London, along with the necessary bike lane and charging infrastructure, to meet their CO2 emissions target.

Uber has also committed to making every car on the Uber London network fully electric by 2025 as well as introducing a diesel scrappage scheme aimed at removing 1,000 of the most polluting cars from London’s roads.

The tech giant has faced criticism for the number of cars it has introduced onto London’s roads in recent years.

It’s estimated there are 45,000 Uber drivers in London with Mayor Sadiq Khan recently calling for a restriction in new driver registrations.

In August he wrote a letter to the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, saying he was ‘determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market in the capital, with space for all providers to flourish.’

‘The huge increase in private hire drivers on London’s roads in recent years is causing increased congestion, polluting our air and leaving many drivers struggling to make enough money to support themselves and their families,’ he added.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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