California Sets Green Goals for Ride-Hailers Like Lyft and Uber (1)

California air regulators on Thursday established the country’s first regulations for ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, requiring 90% of fleets to be electric by 2030.

The California Air Resources Board also set a goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions for fleets during the same period.

Passenger car fleets traveled 4.8 billion kilometers in 2018. Vehicles tend to be newer than the average car on the road, but they emit 50% more greenhouse gas emissions per passenger -mile because 38% of all trips are dead, which means no driver is present.

“We have a great opportunity to turn this important revolution in transportation into a clean revolution,” said Senator Nancy Skinner, author of the bill that set this regulation in motion, ahead of the vote.

The targets will come into effect in 2023 and will increase over time. Between 2023 and 2031, the rule is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.81 million metric tonnes and fine particles by 93.21 tonnes.

The Clean Miles standard aims to increase the electrification of the fleet while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the kilometers traveled by vehicles. The new rule will help California meet its climate goals and federal air standards, state officials said.

It could also be the start of a new way to achieve reductions. “This rule could be a model of rules for other fleets,” said Bill Magavern, director of the Coalition for Clean Air Policy.

Read more: How Uber and Lyft are losing the race to the electric future

Earn credits

Companies will be able to earn credits for a number of actions, including connecting passengers to public transport, offering rides under a fare system ticket, and repairing sidewalks.

The trip data will be divided into three segments: finding runners, heading towards a driver and with a driver in the vehicle. Trips with shared rides will be rated higher for encouraging carpooling, which means fewer cars on the roads.

Ridesharing services that travel less than 5 million vehicle miles per year will be exempt, as will wheelchair accessible travel.

Lyft has already committed to 100% electrification of the fleet by 2030, the company said previously. Uber has pledged the same and set aside $ 800 million to help drivers switch to cleaner cars.

Today, however, 0.5% of passenger vehicles in the United States are electric, according to clean energy research firm BloombergNEF, behind the 0.7% of electric vehicles in the country’s passenger vehicle fleet. .

“ The work of all of us ”

Getting all drivers to use fuel cell or battery electric vehicles will require help from many places, including transportation companies, regulators, drivers, manufacturers and funders. charging infrastructure, said Paul Augustine, senior director of sustainability at Lyft.

“It will take the work of all of us to achieve this goal,” he said.

Gloria Pak, of the Air Board’s Advanced Clean Car Regulations section, said drivers supported the targets but were concerned about the price tag. The estimated cost savings for drivers in 2027 are estimated at $ 1,670 for drivers who travel 20,000 miles and $ 2,212 for those who travel 30,000 miles in one year.

The regulator does not have the power to demand that the costs fall on the ridesharing companies. “We need to find new ways to help drivers on the platform,” Pak said.

Many council members were concerned that the mandate would impose costs on drivers – from purchasing to using public chargers. Many drivers are from low income areas and have been classified as independent contractors.

“This is going to be really problematic for drivers,” said board member Daniel Sperling, who is also the founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis.

Their resolution included language that the effect on drivers would be monitored by the air board, as well as the California Public Utilities Commission, which will now work to implement the regulation.

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