If you’re an environmentally conscious Uber user, you may be pleased to hear the ride-sharing app is bringing its UberGreen service to Cape Town.

The initiative, which was first piloted in Johannesburg, allows users to request an Uber ride from an electric vehicle, such as BMW’s i3.

“UberGreen is a pilot project that was available to Johannesburg riders from 9 May to 3 June 2016 and has now ended,”Samantha Allenberg, Uber communications manager for Africa, told TechCentral. “The pilot will be available to Cape Town riders from 13 June to 18 July 2016.”

BMW’s Tim Abbott said UberGreen’s time in Johannesburg had two benefits; it was kinder to the environment, and it increased awareness of electric vehicles.

“In order for the momentum of electric mobility to increase partnerships like the one with Uber are essential to expose more consumers to the viability of electric vehicles and alternative mobility options,” he said.

It seems to have worked; by the company’s estimates 15 000 people made use of the greener option when requesting a ride, travelling 5 300km around Johannesburg. It also cost the same price as requesting a normal ride.

“In a world where mobility adds to the carbon emission problem, we at Uber are eager to provide alternate options,” said Alon Lits, General Manager of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa. “Uber is passionate about making rides better and more sustainable and this partnership is a step towards making changes for the good of our environment.”

According to TechCentral, BMW said it has sold 124 electric vehicles since the launch of the car in South Africa.

UberGREEN will only be available between 7am and 7pm and it may be restricted to certain areas of Cape Town, especially during rush hour.

To request an UberGREEN vehicle, you’ll have to follow these steps:

  • Open the Uber app between 7am and 7pm
  • Select the UberGREEN option
  • Set your pickup location and request a ride as you normally would
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.