California reports transportation in general contributes to half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of that comes from light-duty vehicles. Uber, Lyft and others within the light-duty transportation network contribute about 1% of California’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing a plan to mandate a phased shift to electric vehicles. To learn more, read this article in CleanTechnica titled “California May Soon Mandate Uber & Lyft Shift to Electric Vehicles”.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to a 2019 California report, 39% of ride-hailing trips are “deadhead” miles, which means the car is without a passenger.
  • Ride-share vehicles idle and circle the block waiting for passengers. These trips are estimated to create 50% more greenhouse gas emissions than the average car trip.
  • The downside of mandating the shift to electric vehicles could mean a loss of income for drivers without an EV or being forced to buy an EV which they may not be able to afford.
  • CARB estimates this mandate will increase the number of zero-emissions vehicles actively used in ride-hailing to 400,000 by 2030.

Path to 100% Perspective:

As advanced manufacturing develops ways to make electric vehicles more affordable and more states incentivize the purchase of EVs, the option for ride-hail drivers to go electric may not require mandates. Instead, continued information on the perks of EVs, increased accessibility to EV charging stations and the continued push to raise awareness about the overall benefits of electric vehicles can also help drivers to make the transition.  According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the deployment of electric cars has grown exponentially in ten years, with the number of passenger EV’s exceeding 5 million in 2018. Electric cars in the U.S. account for 22% of the EV global fleet.