Lyft commits to fleet of 100-percent electric vehicles by 2030
Ridesharing company Lyft has today outlined a vision to transition to 100 percent electric vehicles by the end of the decade. The ambitious plan involves moving all cars used across its platform to zero-tailpipe-emission technologies, with the company anticipating benefits for its drivers as well as the environment.
While the idea of ride-sharing and reducing the number of cars on the road seems very green on the surface, research was shown it isn’t necessarily that straightforward. In fact, a study published back in February found that services like Lyft and Uber can generate as much as 69 percent more carbon emissions than the trips they replace, due to the miles these vehicles cover with nobody onboard and how they lure people away from public transit and other greener modes of transport.
For its part, Lyft has made moves to lower its carbon footprint over the past few years. In 2017 it announced that all of the electric vehicles in its ride-sharing fleet would run on renewable energy, and then in 2018 outlined plans to purchase carbon offsets in order to make all of its rides carbon neutral. The company revealed today that this carbon offset program would be wound up as it shifts focus to an even more ambitious objective, total decarbonization through electric vehicles.
In committing to power all of its vehicles with electricity by 2030, the company will need to work with private drivers who use their own cars on the Lyft platform, while overhauling the fleets in its rental car program for rideshare drivers, its rental car service for passengers, and its autonomous vehicle program.
If it can achieve this aim, the company says it can help prevent tens of millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, through the billions of gallons of gasoline that would go unburned. But it also notes the potential advantages for drivers, with electric cars offering lower fuel and maintenance costs over their lifetimes, while it also expects the upfront cost of these vehicles to decline over the coming years.
“Now more than ever, we need to work together to create cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities,” says John Zimmer, co-founder and president, Lyft. “Success breeds success, and if we do this right, it creates a path for others. If other rideshare and delivery companies, automakers and rental car companies make this shift, it can be the catalyst for transforming transportation as a whole."
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"So we’re ending our carbon offsets program to allow us to focus our efforts on direct decarbonization through the switch to EVs. While this means net emissions from cars used on the Lyft platform may increase in the short term, shifting to 100% EVs will lead to dramatically lower emissions over the long term."