Uber must work to rebuild its reputation after the tragic self-driving incident, and it's turning to promote EV adoption.

This week, Uber announced that it's forming a partnership with UC Davis researchers to find new methods to encourage electric vehicle adoption. The ride-sharing company has already started a pilot program in which it affords a bonus to Uber employees who drive EVs. Additionally, the company will add special EV-related features to its app.

Coined 'EV Champions Initiative,' the new program launched in seven markets. In each city, Uber will be testing out various incentive plans and benefits. The current pilot markets are Austin, Los Angeles, Montreal, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Uber's sustainability chief Adam Gromis explained:

We see the writing on the wall.

Unless we can be delivering a more efficient form of mobility, we won’t be providing a good solution that cities need. That’s why we’ve gone into bikes. That’s why we’re working with transit. That’s why we’re focused on electrification.

San Diego-based electric car drivers will earn an extra $1 per ride with a cap of $20 in bonus money per week. EV drivers in Pittsburgh already benefit from such a plan and now those in the San Francisco market will also receive the perk.

Los Angeles-based drivers will not get a monetary bonus, but instead, educational assistance related to EVs and saving money. Uber is sharing valuable information with them about the use of HOV lanes, area rebates for home charger installation, and the Southern California Edison clean fuel rebate, as well as state rebates and the overall benefits of being an EV owner.

Once more data is collected and research comes in, Uber plans to share it with policymakers in an attempt to garner support by promoting the program and its benefits. It also hopes this process will help electric vehicle drivers in general. Then, the ride-hailing company intends to adapt and expand the initiative while funneling more money into it.

Uber has also updated its smartphone app to help EV owners and ride-sharing customers. The app lets electric car drivers know about longer trip lengths in case they need to charge beforehand. It also alerts customers if they are going to be riding in an EV. This draws attention to the electric vehicles and allows people to make a more sustainable choice.

Source: Los Angeles Times