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Uber “goes green” while taxi-driver opponents see red

No matter how much noise furious taxi drivers seem to make about it, Uber – the American low-cost service viciously undercutting them – just keeps on going.

Today in Lisbon and Porto, Uber has launched its first 100% green service.

The pilot-project, dubbed uberGREEN, will be available from March 7 to June 6 and offer fares in 100% electric cars for the same price as those charged by uberX – the service that has seen Lisbon taxi drivers lobbying prime minister António Costa in a desperate attempt to see their brash new competitors outlawed.

For the time being, nothing has changed, though environment minister Matos Fernandes is due to meet with Uber representatives and discuss its position on March 14.

Intriguingly, Uber is arguing that it is not a taxi service at all, but a “platform of technology that connects people with service providers” – and, as such, it claims “there are no laws in Portugal that limit or restrict services of electronic intermediation”.

It is the kind of legal-speak that will be seeing taxi drivers turn even darker shades of red as up to 20 new green cars start answering people’s calls.

According to a statement from Uber today, the cars are fixed with special technology to show how much in the form of CO2 emissions they will save the two cities.

Uber forecasts the new service could reduce emmissions by as much as 20 tons, writes dinheirovivo.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com