Already many countries, cities and various other types of government are starting to set deadlines for phasing out fossil-fuel cars, and many companies are promising to switch exclusively to electric cars within the next 10 years. But it seems that some cities want to set the bar for phasing out polluting vehicles now, with New York adopting a new rule requiring ride-hailing operators like Uber and Lyft to transition to an all-electric fleet by 2030.
Ride-sharing services like Uber will have to adopt electric cars in New York
Uber and Lyft, the largest ride-sharing services in the US, already have plans to operate a 100% electric fleet by 2030, so this new rule in New York shouldn’t affect their existing plans much. However, companies often set optimistic goals that they don’t always achieve. So New York is making sure that regardless of whether the two companies (or other similar service operators) change their minds down the road, at least in this city, they will have to offer 100% electric vehicle service.
Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, announced that decision this week, directly naming Uber and Lyft. The regulation could thus ensure that around 100,000 cars in the city used for ride-sharing will be affected. At the same time, New York City is also making the switch to electric for vehicles used in government and installing charging stations. The next step will be to require electrification of the city’s taxi and limousine fleets.
In general, ride-sharing operators oppose legislation passed by the government that could hurt their business. In this situation, both Uber and Lyft seem to be pleased with the initiative:
“We’re excited to partner with New York City on our journey. New York’s promise will accelerate an equitable citywide transition to electric, and we look forward to working with TLC on an ambitious plan to standardize ‘clean’ rides,” said Paul Augustine, Lyft’s director of sustainability.
“We applaud the mayor’s ambition to reduce emissions, an important goal we share. Uber has made real progress toward becoming the first zero-emission mobility platform in North America, and we have much more to do,” said Josh Gold, director of internal policy at Uber.
The two companies are already encouraging drivers in the US to switch to electric vehicles, either through partnerships with car rental companies like Hertz or by paying higher rates for rides taken in electric cars. However, many drivers still can’t afford the initial investment in an electric car, as the price is significantly higher than an internal combustion car.