Uber Launches Electric Car Ride-Hailing, EV Tools for Drivers – CNET

As riders begin to travel again, Uber debuts updates aimed at making group travel easier and individual rides more sustainable.
Uber seeks to encourage zero-emissions travel with its new Comfort Electric tier and EV Hub driver tools.
At its second annual Go/Get 2022 product event streamed virtually this morning, Uber announced a wave of updates and new services coming to its ride-hailing and delivery app this year. Uber riders and drivers can expect new tools to help plan zero-emissions trips, accommodate large groups with charter shuttles and plan Uber rides around upcoming traveling.
Last year's Go/Get 2021 event centered around improvements aimed at making riding with Uber safer in the midst of a global pandemic, such as scheduling vaccines in the Uber app and expansions of its Uber Rent contact-free vehicle rental service. This year's event focused more on sustainability, reducing emissions and making travel easier as people start gathering once again. The updates come alongside news of new functionalities coming to the Uber Eats food delivery service.
Uber riders can specify zero-emissions travel with new Comfort Electric ride-hailing tier.
When planning a trip, riders will soon be able to select a new Comfort Electric tier in the Uber app to request a ride in an electric vehicle. Vehicles included in the Comfort Electric program at launch include all four Tesla Models, the Polestar 2 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E with more makes joining the tier over time. Comfort Electric launches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Dubai today.
Currently, Uber also offers the Uber Green ride-hailing tier that connects riders with drivers operating hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles with the added incentive of earning double Uber Rewards points that can be used towards Uber rides and Uber Eats deliveries. Comfort Electric is the next, more specific step down this path towards electrification and lower emissions.
The new EV Hub in the Uber Driver app helps drivers compare operating and ownership costs for electric vehicles.
To aid Uber drivers in making the transition to driving electric, Uber is also updating its Uber Driver app to include a new EV Hub. This toolkit will help drivers to calculate EV incentives and the costs to own and operate an electric car and compare with conventional vehicles. For drivers who have already made the leap to electric, the Uber Driver app will soon include a new Charging Map feature that helps locate charging stations with information about charging speeds and turn-by-turn directions built-in.
Groups can reserve party buses and shuttles with the new Uber Charter program.
In addition to the new electrification initiatives, Uber also announced a range of new services and features aimed at riders who are beginning to return to travel and large gatherings, starting with a new ride-hailing tier for groups larger than what the current UberXL and Uber Black SUV rides can accommodate. Uber Charter allows riders to reserve and pay for charter shuttles, passenger vans, party buses and more for large groups and events — like weddings, wine tastings or office gatherings — within the Uber app. Uber Charter launches in the US this summer.
Uber is also launching a new Uber Travel functionality in partnership with Google's Gmail service. After connecting their Uber account to Gmail, Uber Travel will scan for flight, hotel and restaurant reservations and allow users to quickly reserve rides for each leg of their vacation or business travel itinerary. Advance reservations made via Uber Travel will also earn users 10% Uber Cash back. The service launches today in the US, in the coming weeks for Canadian users. Train, coach and car rentals will also join Uber Travel when it launches this summer in the UK.
Uber Travel pulls flight, hotel and restaurant reservations from Gmail and offers discounts on early ride reservations.
Uber is extending its Uber Vouchers for Events program to individual users. Previously only available through Uber for Business, Vouchers for Events allows users to prepay for rides for guests at events like weddings or reunions. Customers set the maximum amount they want to cover for each guest and get unique codes to distribute. Guests then use those codes to plan their own rides — or Uber Eats deliveries — paying only if the cost of their trip exceeds the voucher amount.
Finally, the Uber One membership and rewards program is expanding with more perks from new partnerships with the Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty program, Clear identity verification and Obe Fitness. The program is also now available to users in Mexico, Germany and the UK with more to follow. To tempt users to sign up, Uber is also offering new members a free month and $30 off of an Uber Eats delivery.


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