Uber to phase out gas/diesel cars in the UK ... and China to ban them too?

London congestion

The future will be zero emission. Car companies had better take note.

Uber's brand has taken a bashing lately, but there's no doubt that it is a huge influencer in terms of new car sales. So news from the UK that all UberX rides in London will be electric or hybrid by 2020 is a big deal. By 2025, the company wants London rides to be 100% electric or plug-in hybrid.

But what about the rest of the country?

It looks like the company is aiming for 2022 for the electric and/or hybrid phase elsewhere in the UK, and it's not entirely clear if/when it would be gunning for 100% plug-in on a national level. Still, this is very encouraging news. A growing number of drivers make their purchasing choices based on whether they can use it for income—and these drivers cover more miles, too. Not only that, but because they'll be ferrying strangers from one place to another, this guarantees a growing number of people will be exposed to the benefits of electrification.

Coming alongside news that every major fuel retailer will be required to offer charging, that London's black cabs are going plug-in, and that a growing number of companies are building big electric fleets, I'm beginning to think that the UK government's stated goal of no new gas or diesel cars by 2040 is a decidedly conservative target.

That said, rumor has it that China is eyeing a ban on diesel and gas cars too. At what point do oil investors really start jumping ship?

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