October 24, 2021

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The Greta effect: Nearly two thirds of Brits now consider sustainability when choosing how to travel

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  • New study reveals that 62% of Brits now consider the environmental impact of different modes of transport when deciding how to get from A to B
  • And over a quarter (28%) said they are willing to pay more to go electric; 26% would pay up to 5% more
  • News comes as FREE NOW UK becomes the first leading ride-hailing app to offer customers electric taxis by default
  • Chris “Kammy” Kamara features in new FREE NOW ad, “DashKam”, highlighting the different electric options available to customers

London – New research released today by ride-hailing app FREE NOW has revealed how consumer demand for eco-options is ever-growing – with nearly two thirds (62%) of the nation factoring in sustainability when it comes to selecting a mode of public or private transport, and almost nine out of ten (87%) admitting they are worried about climate change.

The news comes as FREE NOW becomes the first leading ride-hailing app in the UK to offer customers electric taxis by default as part of its Green Pledge commitment to champion a more sustainable future. In an industry-first move FREE NOW will switch from diesel and petrol cars to make electric vehicles the default first option for customers.

This change will be a welcome addition for Brits with almost all of those surveyed (97%) saying that businesses should make it easier to adopt greener habits through their services, and three in five (60%) confirming that they would prefer electric to be the default option offered by taxi apps, even if it costs them extra. Over a quarter (28%) say they are happy to pay more to travel in an electric taxi, with a similar number (26%) prepared to cough up up to 5% more than the fixed price of a journey.

Ahead of the forthcoming ULEZ expansion in the capital, 60% of those surveyed nationwide also think there are too many private cars on the road – nearly 1 in 5 (17%) say that private car dependency is one of the main transport issues in their area.

The findings also show that the younger generations are more likely to have climate change at the top of their agenda, with those aged 29 and under most concerned about sustainability when they select a mode of transport (71%), compared to less than half (46%) of people aged 60-69.

FREE NOW has recently recorded a huge demand from the public for environmentally friendly transport choices, with trips in electric vehicles soaring by 135% between Jan and September 2021 and 35% more electric vehicle taxi drivers joining the app.

Mariusz Zabrocki, UK General Manager at FREE NOW comments: “Making electric vehicles the default taxi option for customers forms part of our wider Green Pledge commitment for all vehicles on our app to be zero-emission capable by 2025[1]. We are already the largest electric fleet platform in the UK but want to go further faster and make choosing electric vehicles even easier for drivers as well as customers.

“This year alone, we have seen a 135% uplift in passengers opting for EVs, and a 35% increase in EV drivers on the platform. These figures reflect the growing demand for sustainable options within the ride-hailing industry, highlighting again that transitioning to zero carbon/low emission vehicles is not just the right thing to do but also good business sense.”

Across Europe, FREE NOW electric car rides have increased by 71% since January 2021, with a 20% increase in active EV drivers on the platform. The app is now the mobility platform with the biggest electric vehicle choice in Europe, with almost 130,000 new e-scooters, eBikes and electric shared cars on offer to its customers.

To celebrate the rollout of the change to its app, FREE NOW has released a new ad, featuring one of the nation’s most beloved football presenters, Chris “Kammy” Kamara, called “DashKam.” In the ad Kammy can be seen racing across London using FREE NOW’s electric cabs and e-scooters.

Chris Kamara, former football player and presenter, comments: “I’m delighted to be supporting this important initiative. As an electric car owner myself, I know just how vital it is that we make the switch to electric vehicles, so it’s music to my ears that FREE NOW are now offering them to customers as standard.”

To find out more about FREE NOW’s sustainability commitments, visit: https://free-now.com/uk/green-pledge/

[1] Source: https://free-now.com/uk/green-pledge/.

ENDS

For more information please contact [email protected]

About the survey:
Survey of 1,000 UK adults carried out by FREE NOW, September 2021.

About FREE NOW’s Green Pledge:
FREE NOW UK is committed that all vehicles on its app will be zero-emission capable by 2025, including all taxis by 2024. Across Europe, 100% of their trips will be zero emission by 2030 in all key European cities. Until then, the company is working with Climate Partner to offset its current CO2 emissions output produced by both the company and its services. In total, FREE NOW is offsetting 173,000 tons of CO2 emissions with multiple projects, from protecting the Amazon rainforest, extending the production of renewable energy in Asia to supporting reforestation in Europe.

About FREE NOW:
FREE NOW is the multi-service mobility joint venture from BMW and Daimler. In addition to ride-hailing, FREE NOW also offers micromobility services such as eScooters, eBikes, eMopeds and Car-sharing. It consists of FREE NOW (ten European markets) and Βeat (five Latin American markets and one European market) verticals. Together, the verticals are currently used by 50 million users in 16 markets and over 150 cities and 30,000 corporate clients. This makes FREE NOW the largest multi-service mobility provider in Europe and the fastest growing ride-hailing platform in Latin America. FREE NOW is working with several third party providers to give its customers an even wider choice of options for getting from point A to point B. FREE NOW employs a total of around 1,900 people in 35 different locations around the world. FREE NOW’s CEO is Marc Berg.

Further information is available at free-now.com

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