With an electric bus and an electric van already in its product catalog, UK electric mobility company Arrival is now partnering with San Francisco’s Uber to develop an electric vehicle especially for ride-hailing drivers.
Many municipalities around the world are embracing zero (local) emissions vehicles to help improve air quality in high population zones, setting end dates for combustion engine vehicles being allowed to roll down city streets. More an more big automotive players are moving toward manufacturing an all-electric future too, along with urban transport service providers.
Back in October 2018, Uber announced its intention to become a fully electric platform in London by 2025, and introduced a Clean Air Plan to help ride-hailing drivers in the UK capital make the switch to electric. More than £135 million has since been raised under the scheme, and over 3.5 million trips have taken place in EVs.
Discounts for Uber drivers have been arranged for purchase or lease of electric vehicles from Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Otto and WeFlex, dedicated Uber charging points have been installed in several charging hubs in London, and drivers can enjoy discounted rates at bp Pulse public chargers. Meanwhile, passengers are offered a 15 percent reduced fee for a new service called Uber Green, where an all-electric ride can be requested by commuters.
Beyond London, Uber is looking to operate a fully electric platform across the whole of the UK by 2030, which is also when it expects all cities across North America and Europe to only offer electric rides, followed by the rest of the world by 2040.
Now the ride-hailing company has teamed up with Arrival to create a new battery electric vehicle to meet the specific needs of the millions of drivers in the ride-hailing services sector. Over the next few months, Arrival will consult with Uber drivers to inform the design of the upcoming Arrival Car, which will focus on providing comfort, safety and convenience for driver and a premium experience for passengers.
At this early stage, neither company is sharing any specs, but the supplied renders of the interior present a minimalist, clean aesthetic with a single central display taking on double duty as a navigation aid and dash for the driver, a fold-down passenger seat that pushes forward to provide extra room for luggage or shopping, bench seating for up to three in the rear with lots of legroom and ambient lighting throughout. It also looks like passengers can look forward to a full panoramic roof.
The final design for the Arrival Car is subject to change of course, and is expected to be unveiled by the close of 2021, with production currently estimated to begin in the third quarter of 2023.