The California Air Resources Board has approved a mandate that most drives on hail platforms must be in electric vehicles by 2030. California is the first state to approve such a rule in the US, and it has long been a pioneer in adopting electric vehicles as other states follow and emulate. According to the new rule, electric vehicles must make up 2 percent of the vehicle miles of the ridesharing fleets by 2023. These electric vehicle miles must increase to 50 percent by 2027 and to 90 percent by 2030.
Both Uber and Lyft have already committed to fully electric vehicles by 2030. Companies have plans to help drivers afford the switch or offer them rentals if they don’t want to drive themselves. They also offer other incentives to drivers who switch to greener cars, including lowering their service fees. Even so, Uber and Lyft told the regulator in their written comment for the agency that, while they support their goals, they need government help with transition costs for many low- and middle-income drivers.
According to Reuters, the companies said the regulator’s targets were “based on uncertain and unrealistic assumptions”. In addition, some CARB members themselves have raised concerns about the impact of the rule on drivers, especially since there is no guarantee that the hail-fighting companies will really help them. As a board member, Nathan Fletcher said, “We cannot ensure that (companies) actually pay for the costs of tackling the greenhouse gases and air pollution that they create and benefit from.”
However, CARB Chair Liane Randolph believes the rule will add to the state’s climate effort:
“This move is another part of the comprehensive program California has developed to protect public health from harmful emissions. The transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of which come from light-duty vehicles. This move will do that help make the state’s climate efforts safer and improve air quality in our most deprived communities. “
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