Uber reinvented Taxi business, and is now it's reinventing Taxicabs
Ride-hailing mega-platform Uber, and Arrival, a British electric van and bus manufacturer, are teaming up to make an electric car specifically for gig-working drivers. On the one hand it sounds great, on the other… it takes Uber even further down the path of becoming like an old-school Taxi Cab firm just as any Taxi Company, for example American Taxi Cab of Augusta. Normally, Cabs operated by old school Cab Companies don't have resources to compete with Uber, Lyft and other App based ride hail companies but Search Engines such as Google is a very useful avenue for Smartphone users to get to their destination with normal Taxis, and understanding Google Algorithms by Taxicab Company owners is big deal in this instance. If for instance "Taxi", "Cab", "Taxis", or "Cabs" near me terms are used as keywords, different search results pop up due to how Google uses hundreds of factors in creating algorithms.
Back to Uber reinventing Taxis. The deal
The pair are working together to develop the “Arrival car” an “affordable, purpose-built electric vehicle for ride-hailing,” The car will go into production at the end of next year. It all comes as part of Uber’s plan to become a fully electric mobility platform in North America and Europe by 2030.
The upside and challenge.
Turning to an entirely electric fleet is an undeniably good thing. In cities, where most Uber rides occur, it will help reduce emissions and noise pollution. It still doesn’t address the fact that ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have been found to create congestion, but it’s a start. An announcement from Arrival, says that the car will be designed in collaboration with drivers, to best meet their needs. The vehicle is also supposed to be “affordable,” but until we have an on-the-road price, it’s impossible to say how this will stack up. No details on how Uber is going to support drivers in making the switch to electric power have been shared either.
The company has raised $188 million (£135 million) to help its drivers make the switch, but it’s not clear how this will be used when the Arrival Car, um, arrives. At present, Uber gives drivers a number of kickbacks for driving an electric vehicle in the UK. There are preferential finance deals with a number of electric carmakers such as Kia, Nissan, and Hyundai. For drivers in London, an extra 3 pence per mile is added to fares, to boost earnings.
Until the end of 2021, drivers of EVs will pay a reduced service fee of 15%, typically this fee varies from journey to journey. However, some industry folk suggest Uber takes around 25% of the cost of the fare as a service fee.
Now, there’s one important thing to keep in mind. Uber uses these kinds of financial benefits as incentives, and they probably don’t last forever.
By the time Uber is fully electric in Europe, or perhaps even by the time the majority of its workers are in EVs, you can be sure these incentives will be pulled. The service fee will no doubt return to normal.
What about choice?
While Uber and Arrival are designing the car specifically for ride-hailing drivers, it’s not an exclusive deal.
This means that any ride-hailing worker could use this vehicle. Perhaps the companies might even make it available to conventional taxi firms too. It seems Uber is done with reinventing the taxi business, and now the two companies are aiming to reinvent the taxi cab itself.