The California Air Resources Board, or CARB, is considering legislation that would mandate the percentage of EV or fuel cell vehicles in a rideshare company’s fleet. This comes at a time where lockdown has lowered rideshare usage by 60% from last year. However, ridesharing is surprisingly hard on greenhouse gas emissions.
For instance, California has around 70% of it’s transportation emissions coming from light-vehicles, or the kinds of cars that Lyft and Uber drivers typically use. Where transportation makes up half of the state’s emissions (we’re looking at you, industry, for the other big chunk), rideshares make up a hugely inefficient portion of those light-vehicles.
One major reason, is that almost %40 of miles driven by Lyfts or Ubers are without passengers, and therefore are total wastes from an energy standpoint. After you are dropped off by a rideshare, the miles they go until their next pickup can make them considerably more pollutant.
Enter the CARB Clean Cars Program, which was outlined in SB 1014, it sees 2023 as the start year for a % eVMT (electric vehicle miles traveled) standard, which would build considerably until 2030. At the start, the current proposal would mandate large companies to have %5 electric miles, but them either %32 or %51 electric miles by 2030.
Projections on this program would see nearly 400,000 new electric cars added to rideshare fleets by 2030, where alternative proposals would all-out ban ICE or hybrid rideshares by 2030. Importantly, hybrids are absent from these plans, since they’re harder to regulate, and may use gas more frequently than one would expect.
The plan also has a 5-million mile exemption point for, which would help foster competition from small companies that drive under that amount. As Lyft and Uber drive almost 1,000 times that many miles combined, it would hardly matter for them.
Now all that’s left is for us all to collectively hold our breath, and not release until this California legislation goes through and the air becomes cleaner!