Today, Uber announced that Portland will be the first U.S. city to be a part of the company's new environmental initiative, which pledges to add more electric cars to their fleet.
Uber says they chose Portland to launch the service because Oregon has stronger clean energy laws than any other state.
"We're starting this initiative here because Portland and the State of Oregon are national leaders in the transition to clean energy and electric vehicles," says Bryce Bennett, Uber general manager for Oregon. "Last year the legislature had the foresight to pass one of the strongest clean energy laws in the nation, which empowers utilities to increase and improve the infrastructure needed to grow the electric car market. That legislation, and the plans now before the Oregon Public Utility Commissioner, are the catalyst for what we're starting."
But it also comes as Uber faces battles at the Oregon Legislature and an investigation by the city of Portland.
Related: Portland City Hall, once in thrall to Uber, appears ready for a fight.
Right now, Uber writes that about 100 drivers among the city's 6,000 Uber drivers use electric cars, or 1.6 percent. By 2019, Uber aims to have 10 percent of their fleet be electric vehicles.
They'll do that by purchasing and leasing vehicles, as well as training drivers to serve as EV Ambassadors, who will educate riders about the benefits of electric vehicles.
They're partnering with local non-profit Drive Oregon, whose mission is to expand the use of electric vehicles throughout the state, as well as the Black Parent Initiative, who says the program will increase the access of electric vehicles to historically underserved communities. Cynergy E-Bikes will also be a part of the initiative, providing 20 e-bikes for UberEATS deliveries.