Big news coming from ride-sharing company Lyft as the company recently announced that they would be shifting their entire fleet to be 100% electric. Lyft will be collaborating with the Environmental Defense Fund to work with both drivers and policymakers to help make the transition to electric cars easier.
All of Lyft’s following programs will be subject to the transition to electric vehicles:
- Express Drive rental car partner program for rideshare drivers,
- consumer rental car program for riders,
- our autonomous vehicle program, and
- drivers’ personal cars used on the Lyft platform
John Zimmer, co-founder and president, Lyft stated:
“Now more than ever, we need to work together to create cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities. 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.”
While Lyft does acknowledge the higher upfront costs of electric cars when compared to gasoline cars, they do push the obvious environmental benefits of electric cars and also state that owners will at the very least see savings on both their maintenance and fuel costs. Lyft also believes that electric cars will reach cost parity to gasoline cars by the middle of the decade, destroying the barrier of the higher upfront costs.
Lyft also states that it isn’t simply enough to just lean on their drivers to make the choice to transition to electric cars on their own, and so Lyft will work with policymakers to help transitions be easier and cheaper.
By working with policymakers and partners, and harnessing the power of the driver community, we can drive down the cost of EVs, expand EV incentives and infrastructure, and help drivers switch to electric over time in a way that is cost-effective, sustainable and profitable.
Reaching 100% won’t be an easy task, especially when according to Reuters, the current electric Lyft fleet is only about 1%. However they have 10 years to get to their goal and if electric vehicles are able to reach cost parity by the middle of the decade, there should be a significant boost during the second half of the decade, especially with a more mature infrastructure.
Ironically enough, it is not all good environmental news however. Back in 2018, Lyft made all their rides carbon neutral through a carbon offset program. Lyft however states that the program is not enough and that is why they are going forward with this 100% electrification. But as such, they will be halting their carbon neutral program and will in fact be increasing emissions in the short term to better focus on this larger electrification program.
The news is certainly bittersweet, but it’s quite possible that with a year or two Lyft will have electrified enough of their platform that it already outweighs the carbon emissions they have today. On the other hand, it could take much longer, who knows.
Regardless of that slightly dampening news, Lyft is doing a good job with setting a sensible, albeit difficult goal for electrification. While ridesharing competitor Uber has not made a similar grand commitment, we imagine that they will soon respond with something of their own.
What do you guys think of the goal and its feasibility for a fully electric fleet? Let us know down in the comments below.