Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Business Insider

California’s Air Pollution Cops Are Eyeing Uber and Lyft

Since Uber and Lyft burst onto the scene a decade ago, the companies have established a reputation for dodging government regulations. Now, California is working on first-of-their-kind rules to limit emissions from ride-hail vehicles, which could force the companies to get about one-third of their drivers into electric vehicles by the end of 2030. To which the ride-hail companies say (with some qualifications): Bring it on.

California’s goal is ambitious, to put it lightly. The state Air Resources Board has proposed requiring that 60 percent of miles traveled by ride-hail passengers be in electric vehicles by 2030. In 2018, only about 1 percent of those miles were in electric vehicles. California is the nation’s top market for electric vehicles, but less than one in 10 cars sold in 2019 can plug in.

To hit that 60 percent target, the air board estimates that one-third of ride-hail vehicles will have to be electric, and that the companies will need to push their highest-mileage drivers to switch to EVs. The companies would also have to bring back their shared pooling services, which have been suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic. Still: Lyft wants stricter, not looser rules. “We think that CARB should continue to be aggressive,” says Sam Arons, the company’s head of sustainability.

Earlier this year, Lyft pledged to electrify all of its drivers’ vehicles by 2030. That’s a challenge, because Lyft doesn’t own those vehicles; it casts itself as a tech-aided intermediary between small businesspeople (drivers) and people who want to purchase their services (riders). So it must convince drivers to buy electric vehicles, when the tech is still more expensive than gas-powered cars, and chargers still hard to come by. How to do that? A lot of government help—and money.

Uber has not made a similar commitment around electric vehicles. But a spokesperson says the company “looks forward to continuing to engage with CARB,” and that Uber “supports California’s Clean Miles Standard as a first of its kind performance-driven standard.”

Electrifying more ride-hail vehicles could be a big deal for the state. “There’s a catalyst opportunity here, to have positive benefits in the market as a whole and not just for ride-hailing,” says Don Anair, research and deputy director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a science advocacy organization.

Ride-hail might seem like a weird target for pollution regulators. In California, companies like Uber and Lyft account for just about 1 percent of the vehicle miles traveled, and 1 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from cars. But that share is higher in cities, which tend to be more polluted. And because drivers have to travel between each ride, the average trip via ride-hail produces 50 percent more emissions than the average car trip. Research published last month suggests that, because the average ride-hail vehicle in California travels much farther each day than other cars, electrifying a ride-hail car saves three times as much CO2 as electrifying other cars.

An electric ride-hail fleet would be nice for other reasons. Ride-hail vehicles could charge at off-peak hours like the mid-morning to mid-afternoon, when the electric grid tends to be less burdened and rides are less frequent. California’s ride-hail pollution regulations will also apply to autonomous vehicles, which could push those working on robotaxis to make them electric.

To make it work, Arons, the Lyft sustainability head, says the ride-hail industry needs government help in the form of subsidies to help lower- and middle-income drivers buy EVs. (In Colorado and Masschausetts, the company receives tax credits when it introduces EVs into its fleet.) It needs more, cheaper, and faster charging stations. It needs to strike deals with utility companies, which could make it more affordable for drivers to charge up.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



GLENN CARSTENS PETERS-UNSPLASH For companies to digitally transform, people will need to be upskilled and reskilled to embrace new tools with the goal of...


A woman walks across the city centre bridge in Melbourne, Australia, July 16, 2021. — REUTERS/SANDRA SANDERS SYDNEY — Millions in Melbourne are readying...


METROCOM relaxing while waiting to be deployed near Malacanang on Sept. 21, 1983. — AITOR ALEGRIA Many of us still remember the box office...


STARLINE Because it is the rainy season, the weather is among the many concerns that worry many Filipinos, and the damage and casualties from...


CHINA has seen rapid urbanization; as of 2020, 61% of its population lived in urban areas. In 1960, that number was a mere 16%....


FREEPIK The concept of “choosing the lesser evil” seems to say that when a person is faced with two undesirable (i.e., two unfortunate or...

You May Also Like

When people envision technology overtaking society, many think of The Terminator and bulletproof robots. Or Big Brother in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a symbol...

Financial Advisors

Stock Markets9 hours ago (Jul 02, 2020 04:45AM ET) (C) Reuters. ROME (Reuters) – World food prices rose in June to post their first...


SAN FRANCISCO — The spread of the coronavirus has meant feast or famine for technology start-ups. While many are cutting staff and slashing costs...


OAKLAND, Calif. — Jack Dorsey has won plaudits for his corporate activism during the coronavirus crisis, taking on President Trump in his role as...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!