Uber and Kia tie-up will strengthen Kia's EV market share in Europe

Many local and federal governments worldwide are pushing ridesharing companies to transition their fleets to electric vehicles. However, studies have shown that ridesharing services such as Uber increase local emissions due to miles driven without passengers in the vehicle. To help reduce emissions, Uber and automaker Kia announced not long ago they were partnering with the automaker supplying electric vehicles in Europe to Uber.

Kia has lofty goals for its electric vehicles aiming to grab a 20 percent share of the electric vehicle market by total sales in Europe, South Korea, and North America. In addition, Kia plans to expand its EV portfolio to cover 11 models by 2025. At the same time, Uber has a target of operating 100,000 electric vehicles in Europe by 2025.

One of the keys to the partnership is the Kia Niro EV, which will be available in Europe by next year. Hyundai and Uber worked together earlier this year. In April, Hyundai supplied the IONIQ Electric and Kona electric vehicles to Uber in Europe. Separately, Uber has also partnered with a UK-based electric vehicle startup called Arrival for a supply of electric cars.

Automakers see value in partnering with ridesharing companies because as those companies adopt EVs into their fleets, the larger shared mobility fleets result in faster adoption of EVs. Kia also gains a competitive benefit in Europe from the partnership, with reports indicating that as of 2020, one in four Kia automobiles sold in Europe was an EV or a hybrid.

Kia is gaining market share in Europe as the popularity of its electric vehicles increases. In the months spanning January through May 2021, Kia increased its work at share within Europe to 7.5 percent, increasing from 7.2 percent during the same span of 2020.