One of the world’s largest ride-hailing giants has announced a commitment to reach 100% electric-battery vehicles or other zero-emission vehicles on its platform worldwide by 2030.
Lyft says it is taking these measures to help address the issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from transportation, which recently became the single largest GHG source in the United States and the second largest source in Canada.
Given the size of Lyft and its possible trajectory, this gradual transition could reduce tens of millions of metric tons of GHG emissions and reduce gas consumption by over a billion gallons over the next decade.
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“Now more than ever, we need to work together to create cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities,” said John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft, in a statement.
“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.”
The transition will cover all cars on Lyft’s platform, including personally owned cars, cars on the rental programs, and the future autonomous vehicle program.
To achieve this long-term transition, Lyft says it will be ending its current carbon offsets program to focus on the switch.
In addition to reducing emissions, the use of electric-battery vehicles is expected to result in major fuel cost savings for the driver. As battery technologies mature, the cost of acquiring electric-battery vehicles is expected to become more economical for ride-hailing drivers by the middle of the 2020s.
In the United States, a number of states such as California, Colorado, New York, and Washington have various initiatives and incentives to increase the sales of electric-battery cars over gas-powered vehicles. The Canadian federal government and some provincial governments also have incentives to support their goal of increasing electric-battery vehicle sales to 100% by 2040.
Since 2016, prior to the current global crisis, based on total sales, Lyft doubled its US market share, absorbing some of the market share previously taken by taxis, car rentals, and their main competitor, Uber.