(Photo : Pixabay/freestocks-photos) Uber and Lyft electronic vehicles

Electronic Vehicles will soon be hitting the roads as the California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the Clean Mile Standard in Sacramento, California on May 20, which phases in the new rule starting in 2023. 

Electronic Vehicles to be Used by Ride-Hailing Companies

In the initial year, just 2% of vehicle miles traveled in rideshare fleets in the state need to be in electric vehicles, but the requirement jumps to 50% by 2027, and by 2030, it will be 90%.

The new rule, which will be enforced by the California Public Utilities Commission that regulates rideshare companies, will also try to ensure that the cost of electric vehicle for drivers, access to charging stations, and the cost of charging is eased for drivers, particularly those with lower incomes.

CARD Chair Liane Randolph said that this move is yet another piece of the comprehensive program California has developed to protect public health from harmful emissions, according to Reuters.

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Randolph added that transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of California's greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of which come from light-duty vehicles.

This action will help provide certainty to the state's climate efforts and improve the air quality in the most disadvantaged communities.

This new regulation by California aligns with the state's plan to ban sales of new gasoline cars by 2035 and an effort by California legislators to target rideshare fleets for dramatic reductions in emissions, according to The Independent.

Uber and Lyft's EV Services

Both Uber and Lyft have made efforts to get more electric and plug-in hybrid cars into their companies these past few years, with Uber committing up to $800 million to help its drivers shift to electric vehicles.

The company also has a target of converting all of its rides to electric power by 2040.

Lyft has an even more aggressive target, stating that it is pushing to convert all of its rides to electric vehicles by 2030, aligning it with California's new rule, as per Forbes.

The move also comes as the new US administration encourages automakers to rapidly accelerate the production and sales of battery-powered vehicles and trucks to help fight climate change.

In order to do that, the Biden Administration is calling for $174 billion of incentives for both the customers and manufacturers as part of a massive infrastructure bill.

Adam Gromis, Uber's global head of sustainability, said that Uber shares California's climate and electronic vehicle goals and they applaud the Clean Miles Standard as one of the first emissions policies in the world based on real-world vehicle use.

Gromis added that with ridehail trips accounting for just 1% of California's light-duty vehicle emissions, they hope that CMS becomes a useful template for examining the other 99%.

San Francisco-based Uber also intends to contribute their resources and partnerships across the e-mobility value chain to leverage existing State policies for the benefit of lower income part-and full-time commercial drivers.

Aside from getting more electronic vehicles in their networks, rideshare companies can also get credits to meet state greenhouse gas targets if they invest in sidewalk and bike lane infrastructure that supports active transportation and connecting to transit through integrated trip booking apps.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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