BMW Group South Africa has partnered with Uber to bring UberGREEN, a 100% electric commuting experience with the aim of reducing CO ₂ emissions in Johannesburg.

UberGREEN is a pilot project taking place from 9 May to 3 June 2016 in Johannesburg. During the pilot, UBER commuters will be able to request a BMW i3 electric vehicle, operated by Uber driver-partners in Johannesburg at uberX prices, helping provide a more sustainable trip at an affordable price.

“In order for the momentum of electric mobility to increase, partnerships with market leaders like Uber are essential to expose more consumers to the viability of electric vehicles and sustainable urban mobility options,” says Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group South Africa.

Alon Lits, General Manager of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, explains the rationale behind UberGREEN, “In a world where mobility adds to the carbon emission problem, we at Uber are eager to provide alternate options. 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.”

The UberGREEN pilot project will involve five BMW i3’s. In addition, Woolworths WRewards members will have exclusive access to these vehicles for a limited period before the pilot officially opens to the public.

The BMW i3 is the BMW Group’s first volume-produced model driven purely by electric power and introduces a new era of mobility for urban dwellers looking for alternative mobility solutions. Since the global market launch, more than 80% of BMW i3 customers worldwide are new BMW customers.

Since 2013, a total of 45,000 BMW i3s have been sold worldwide. The BMW i3 was launched in South Africa in March 2015 and since then a total of 124 vehicles have been delivered to local customers, making it the leading electric vehicle in the country.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, BMW i will expand the model range of its compact electric car, the BMW i3, by offering a version with significantly increased battery capacity. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) will offer a capacity of 33 kilowatt hours (kWh) thanks to the higher storage density of the lithium ion cells. The battery dimensions remain unchanged with over 50 per cent range increase in the standard NEDC cycle which equals 300 kilometres instead of 190 kilometres.

In addition, customers will be able to have their first-generation battery retrofitted as part of a special retrofit programme and have the new battery type installed – this will be made possible thanks to the modular and flexible design of the BMW i3.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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