Car hire phone app service Uber is set to trial a fleet of 20 electric Nissan Leaf cars for three months in London.
The taxi app firm has teamed up with Nissan to deliver the trial which aims to improve the quality of air in the capital, while cutting down on CO2 emissions.
Nissan has supplied Uber with 20 of its Leaf model for the trial, which is the best-selling electric vehicle in the UK, and according to the car firm, is the first time pure electric cars have been made available for hire through the Uber phone app.
The trial is being launched this week and is being run in partnership with the Energy Savings Trust (EST) and will explore the possibility of running significant numbers of electric private hire vehicles in cities throughout the UK.
Nissan said that the EST will independently study the experience, economic viability and driving patterns of private hire drivers using electric cars and the capacity of the current charging points network in London to support such vehicles in large numbers.
Head of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe, Gareth Dunsmore, commented: “We are confident this trial will prove a success and that Uber will join scores of taxi and private hire operators across the UK and wider Europe in recognising the financial and environmental benefits of Nissan’s market-leading electric vehicles.
“With the impact of poor air quality remaining a cause for concern, the trial could prove to be a pivotal moment for tackling the challenges in London.
According to the car hailing service, at present six out of 10 Uber journeys in London are made in hybrid vehicles, which has resulted in lower carbon emissions and air pollution.
However the firm stressed that it was eager to explore the economic benefits of going fully electric ahead of the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in Central London from 2020.