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Uber still pretends not to be a taxi firm, but is going to make a taxicab anyway

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 firm.

The deal

Announced earlier today, the pair are working together to develop the “Arrival car” an “affordable, purpose-built electric vehicle for ride-hailing,” Reuters reports.

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 London by 2025, and 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.

Credit: Arrival