With millions of riders using rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft every day, it’s no surprise that these platforms have started to take a significant environmental toll.
Ridesharing apps today contribute to nearly 70% more climate pollution than other methods of transportation.
This impact is why, in 2019, Uber announced their Clean Air Plan to limit the company’s carbon footprint through the increased use of hybrid and electric vehicles.
In 2020, Uber took their sustainability plan a step further, laying out four action plans to make the company more environmentally friendly and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
One critical step of this plan is the expansion of Uber Green.
While this service first launched in 2019 in select areas, Uber now plans to bring this program to major cities around the globe to decrease carbon emissions and tackle climate pollution in transportation.
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What Is Uber Green?
If you’re looking for a cleaner and more sustainable way to use a ridesharing service, Uber Green offers low-emission rides that produce fewer carbon emissions with every Uber trip.
When you select Uber Green in the app, Uber will match you with a low or zero-transmission vehicle for your ride.
Overview of Uber Green
In September of 2020, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced the company’s plan to become a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly rideshare platform.
This Clean Air Plan to combat carbon emissions and climate change included an expansion of Uber Green to over 1,400 Uber cities in North America.
When Uber users select this option, they’ll receive a ride in a hybrid or 100% electric car that produces up to 44% fewer carbon emissions than the average Uber trip.
Don’t Get Confused With Uber Greenlight Hubs
While their names may sound similar, make sure to avoid confusing Uber Green with the platform’s Uber Greenlight Hubs.
While Uber Green is a type of ride on the platform, Greenlight Hubs are locations where Uber drivers can access a range of resources and receive in-person help, information, and car inspections.
Why Did Uber Launch Uber Green?
Uber’s Clean Air plan includes several goals that will decrease Uber’s carbon emissions and drive a green recovery in cities across the globe.
These goals include a commitment to becoming a fully zero-emission platform by 2040 and having 100% of rides in major US, Canadian, and European cities take place in electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.
Uber launched Uber Green to help reach these goals and create incentives for riders to choose greener rides.
Along with encouraging riders to select greener rides, Uber has also committed $800 million through the Green Future program to help thousands of drivers switch to EVs by 2025.
How Does Uber Green Work?
If you live in a city where Uber Green is available, it’s just as simple to use as any other Uber service.
All riders have to do is request a ride and select Uber Green on the menu.
Using Uber green is just as easy for drivers.
Any Uber driver with an electric vehicle automatically gets entered into Uber Green when they sign up to drive.
As a part of their plan to combat climate change, Uber offers riders and drivers incentives to use Uber Green.
Drivers earn an extra 50 cents per ride to cover the cost of their low-emission vehicles, and riders can receive up to three times the rewards points for every eligible dollar.
What Is the Difference Between UberX and Uber Green?
While UberX is the most affordable and popular Uber service, it can match users with any type of car – including gas-guzzling vehicles that put high amounts of carbon emissions into the air.
With Uber Green, Uber will only match riders with low-emission vehicles such as battery-powered EVs.
Uber Green costs around the same amount as an UberX.
However, there is an additional $1 fee for every Uber Green ride.
To offset this extra cost, riders earn three times the Uber Rewards points, compared to two times the amount of points earned with an UberX trip.
Where is Uber Green Available?
Uber Green first launched throughout several European locations in 2019, including Central London and other areas of the UK, Portugal, and France.
Today, Uber Green is available in more than 65 cities globally.
With recent plans to expand to 1,400 cities throughout North America, Uber Green is becoming increasingly available to Uber users throughout the US and Canada.
Riders can now choose an Uber Green trip in:
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Washington DC
- New York City
More and more destinations are being added monthly.
How Much Does Uber Green Cost?
Like other Uber services, the cost of an Uber Green trip is determined by duration, length of the trip, traffic, and demand.
Uber Green is the exact cost of an UberX ride, with an additional $1 rider surcharge.
Half of this fee goes to the Uber driver to support their use of a low-emission vehicle.
The rest supports the Green Future program to help other drivers transition to an electric or hybrid vehicle.
How to Request an Uber Green
While Uber Green isn’t widely available in North America yet, it’s straightforward to use if the platform has launched in your city.
The process of requesting an Uber Green ride is the same as requesting any other Uber service.
All riders have to do is enter their pick-up and destination address and select the Uber Green option at the bottom of the screen.
Once you confirm your green ride, you’ll be picked up by a sustainable hybrid or electric vehicle and get dropped off at your location.
Uber Green for Drivers
Drivers with hybrid or electric vehicles can automatically opt into Uber Green to start receiving the additional benefits and incentives offered with this service.
What Cars Qualify for Uber Green?
Any eco-friendly, low-emission vehicle that runs on hybrid or 100% electric technology is eligible for Uber Green.
Some popular options that qualify for Uber Green include:
- Chevrolet Bolts
- Toyota Priuses
- Honda Accord Hybrids
Any electric car should also qualify.
Does Uber Green Pay More?
Through their mission to support the use of hybrid and electric vehicles, Uber is offering drivers additional pay and incentives for using a clean and sustainable car.
Riders are charged an extra $1 for using Uber Green, .50 cents of which go to the driver to support their continued use of green technology.
Along with the additional pay, drivers of fully electric vehicles are also eligible to make an extra $1 per trip through Uber’s Zero Emissions incentive throughout the US and Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
With the recent launch and expansion of Uber Green throughout North America, both riders and drivers are bound to have some questions about the service.
Here are some common questions you might be wondering about Uber Green and other rideshare services.
What type of Uber makes the most money?
Uber drivers’ incomes depend primarily on a range of factors, including location, number of customers, and tips.
While Uber Green can earn drivers slightly more than UberX, more comfortable and luxurious Uber services such as Uber Black offer drivers a much higher earning potential.
Uber Black drivers, who are professionally licensed and must own a high-end luxury car, make an average of $24.87 per hour before tips.
UberX drivers earn an average hourly income of $13.70 before tips.
Is Lyft sustainable too?
Lyft’s platform includes green, eco-friendly transportation options such as electric vehicles, bikes, and scooters.
Similar to Uber, Lyft also shares a commitment to transitioning to electric and zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
They’re working with environmental leaders to address barriers to this switch to electric technology, including the cost of electric cars and access to reliable charging, to encourage the wide-scale use of electric vehicles on rideshare platforms.
Can you use Green Dot with Uber?
In 2016, Uber and Green Dot announced Uber Checking by GoBank, which allows drivers to use Green Dot to deposit their pay into a business checking account instantly.
This account is easy and convenient to open, with no monthly fees or minimum balance.
You can also earn cashback on your purchases and access free and instant cash out through your account.
What do the green spots on the Uber app mean?
Green spots on the Uber app show suggested pick-up locations and can be dragged to easily select a more convenient pick-up spot that saves time for both the rider and driver.
Moving Towards a More Sustainable Future
While transportation services have historically been a significant contributor to climate pollution, Uber is taking steps to reduce this impact and drive a more sustainable future through Uber Green.
With the service’s continued rollout throughout North America, you’ll likely be able to choose Uber Green in the Uber app soon.
Whether you’re a driver or a rider, selecting a more sustainable vehicle is a fantastic way to earn additional money or rewards while supporting a greener future.