Duquesne Light is part of a new Uber Technologies, Inc. pilot program, the EV Champions Initiative, which brings together two of today’s transportation revolutions: clean electric vehicles and shared-use mobility. The program aims to deliver at least 5 million EV rides over the next year by building off the success of existing pilots in Pittsburgh and Portland.
In February, Duquesne Light Company announced a strategic partnership with Uber to raise awareness of EVs and promote their benefits for Uber driver-partners, DLC customers, and the entire Pittsburgh region. Along with growing the number of EV miles driven by Uber driver-partners, DLC and Uber also plan to increase the number of direct current (DC) fast-charging stations throughout the greater Pittsburgh area, helping alleviate range anxiety amongst EV drivers.
Uber said that its drivers in both the United States and Canada show a high interest in driving EVs but face complications such as losing fare-earning time while charging their cars and finding appropriate charging stations. The EV Champions Initiative begins to address these concerns by providing:
- In-app features built for EV drivers: One of the biggest challenges for EV drivers is “range anxiety”– worrying their vehicle might run out of charge before making it to a suitable EV charging station. That’s why Uber is introducing a 30 minute trip notification for drivers so they’ve got an idea of what’s in store on the road ahead before they pick up a rider.
- Access to EV education and resources: Many drivers know about the federal tax credit for EV owners, but there are a myriad of state programs and incentives available as well as local programs provided by utilities and cities that are less widely known. The new initiative is focused on ensuring EV drivers have the best, most up to date information on all the resources, incentives and programs they can take advantage of in their areas. In select cities, this pilot provides direct monetary incentives for driving EVs on the Uber network.
- Advocacy for shared-use EV drivers: Today’s EV infrastructure and resource programs are designed for private car ownership. To shift the conversation toward shared EVs, Uber will be stepping up its advocacy in this space.
In addition, any rider in the United States or Montreal, Canada, matched with a driver-partner in an EV will receive an in-app notification. This is a small step towards driving awareness and encouraging conversations between riders and drivers about EVs. In the pilot cities, participating drivers may offer riders in-car materials with basic information on the benefits of EVs and importance of electrification.
Duquesne Light is excited to partner again with Uber as it continues working with riders, drivers, and cities around the world to facilitate access to more sustainable transportation and develop solutions that can improve our lifestyles and our cities.
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