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California Approves Electric Car Mandate for Rideshare Companies

Published on May 21, 2021 at 9:23 am in News.

The California Air Resources Board unanimously adopted a rule that aims to cut greenhouse gases from rideshare companies like Uber is Lyft. However, the question still remains as to who will pay for the cleaner vehicles.

Under the new rule, referred to as the Clean Miles Standard, ninety percent of miles logged by Uber and Lyft drivers in the state of California have to be in electric vehicles by 2030. The goal of the rule is to curb the climate impacts of emissions from ride-hailing trips.

According to CalMatters, a California news outlet, this is an ambitious target because, as of 2018, Uber and Lyft drivers were driving less than one percent of electric vehicles. Now, environmental groups, labor advocates, and drivers are looking to California regulates to ensure the rideshare companies cover the costs of electrifying their fleets.

Representatives from both companies expressed support for the mandate, but they are looking to push funding and flexibility. According to Adam Gromis, global lead on sustainability policy at Uber, “We support this regulation, and we support the ambitions that it sets out. We do think that there’s work to be done in terms of pairing and marrying the regulation side with supportive policies that can ensure a fair transition for drivers.”

Nicole Moore, who drives a plug-in hybrid part-time for Lyft in the Los Angeles Area and is on the organizing committee for Rideshare Drivers United, spokes with CalMatters, saying, “The companies should pay all expenses for all the vehicles, all the time. But that’s not happening. The cost of the fleet is on the drivers, the cost of the fuel is on the drivers, everything is on the drivers. This is going to basically be a green badge of honor for Lyft and Uber, when it’s the drivers that are paying for this conversation. And it’s not right.”

The new rule is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1.81 million metric tons from 2023 to 2030, plus nearly 400 tons of smog-forming gases and particles. That’s equivalent to removing nearly 400,000 cars from California’s roads.

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