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article imageUber, Nissan launching electric cars in London to curb pollution

By Lucky Malicay     Sep 2, 2016 in Technology
American ridesharing service Uber has partnered with Japanese car maker Nissan to launch an all-electric vehicle project in London this month.
The joint venture will involve an all-electric fleet of 50 Nissan LEAF vehicles to be deployed on the streets of the U.K. capital in a trial that will kick off this month.
Nissan unveiled the LEAF (or the Leading Environmentally-Friendly Affordable Family) vehicle in the United States and Japan in 2010. The following year, it introduced the electric car in Canada and in some European countries.
“People already associate Uber with hybrid cars, but we now want to go a big step further with fully electric cars on the road from today,” said Jo Bertram, Uber’s United Kingdom regional general manager.
“We are determined to use technology to help tackle the challenge of air pollution in London and across the U.K. Our car-sharing service has already saved 1.2 million miles and 211 metric tonnes of CO2. With electric vehicles — and more people sharing their journey and leaving their own cars at home – there’s even more we can do.”
In January, figures showed that, in just seven days, London breached its own legal limit on air pollution for this year. The city, under the European Union rules, is only allowed to surpass the maximum safe levels of nitrous oxide for 18 hours a year.
Last year, the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants warned that air pollution, including the effects of nitrous oxide, is causing up to 60,000 deaths a year across the U.K., a number higher than previously thought.
London is planning to introduce the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in September 2020. Under the ULEZ, which will operate 24 hours a day, only the newest and cleanest diesel vehicles will be allowed in Central London.
A Nissan official said they were excited to work with Uber, hoping the collaboration will help improve air quality not only in London but across the U.K. as well.
“We are delighted to be working closely with Uber on what is a very exciting project that could ultimately lead to major improvements in air quality in London and across the U.K.,” said Gareth Dunsmore, head of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe.
“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 recognizing 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.”
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