The California Air Resources Board has approved a mandate requiring most trips on ride-hailing platforms to be in electric vehicles by 2030. California is the first state to approve such a rule in the US, and it has long been a trailblazer in EV adoption that other states follow and emulate. Under the new rule, EVs must account for 2 percent of vehicle miles by rideshare fleets by 2023. Those EV miles must jump to 50 percent by 2027 and to 90 percent by 2030.
Both Uber and Lyft already made the commitment to fully transition to electric vehicles by 2030. The companies have plans in place to help drivers afford the switch or to offer them rentals if they don't want to drive their own. They're also offering other incentives to drivers that switch to greener cars, including lowering their service fees. Still, Uber and Lyft reportedly told the regulator in their written comment for the agency that while it supported its goals, it needs the government's aid with transition costs for many lower and middle-income drivers.
According to Reuters, the companies said the regulator's targets were "based on uncertain and unrealistic assumptions." Further, some CARB members themselves expressed concerns over the rule's impact on drivers, especially since there's no guarantee that the ride-hailing companies will truly help them. As board board member Nathan Fletcher said: "There is no way for us to make sure that the (companies) actually bear the costs to address the greenhouse gases and air pollution they're creating and profiting off."
CARB Chair Liane Randolph, however, believes the rule will contribute to the state's climate efforts:
"This move is yet another piece of the comprehensive program California has developed to protect public health from harmful emissions. The transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of which come from light-duty vehicles. This action will help provide certainty to the state’s climate efforts and improve air quality in our most disadvantaged communities."