This year has seen a number of carmakers commit to becoming electric or embracing more electric vehicle alternatives over the coming decade. With this in mind, the recent decision from the California Air Resources Board requiring outlining new electrification timeframes for ridesharing cars in the State come as no surprise.
The regulator makes California the first State in America to do so, where electric vehicle adoption is higher than most.
“In accordance with the implementation of SB 1014 of 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today adopted a regulation requiring that rideshare companies begin electrification of their California fleets starting in 2023 – another step towards meeting the state’s 2030 climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels, achieving statewide carbon neutrality by 2045, aligning with Governor Newsom Zero Emission Vehicle Executive Order (N-79-20) and fulfilling the state’s air quality goals,” the regulator explained in a statement.
As such, the first benchmark says two percent of the miles ridesharing fleets operating in California make, must be done by EVs by 2023. Next, by 2027 EVs must account for 50 percent of the miles made by ridesharing fleets and by 2030, they must account for 90 percent.
While the clean energy push from California is pleasing to see, it remains to be seen how drivers will react to this, especially as four-door electric cars still carry a premium compared to their gas guzzling brethren.
That said, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft will be assisting drivers in the region with the switch by offering rental EVs if they are unable to purchase their own. It remains to be seen what costs are associated with the rentals, but both Uber and Lyft have written to the regulator to confirm their commitment to this newly outlined objective.
“This regulation aligns with commitments that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have made to transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2030, as well as state and federal incentive programs available to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Governor Newsom’s May revision of the state budget provides hundreds of millions of additional dollars for the state programs,” the statement adds.
“Drivers who lease or buy an EV may apply for the full range of California clean car incentives rebates such as the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, the Clean Cars 4 All program and the Clean Fuels Reward, as well as financial incentives from their local utilities and a federal tax credit,” it concludes.
Now that California has set the standard for EVs and ridesharing cars, we will have to see if other US States and countries follow suit.