Lyft Announces Commitment to a Total Electric-Vehicle Fleet by 2030

  • Ride-hailing service Lyft has announced that all vehicles on its platform will be electric by 2030.
  • The company already offers drivers access to electric-vehicle rentals via its Express Driver program.
  • Lyft president John Zimmer said he believes that if ride-hailing companies and other transportation-based businesses move to EVs, it’ll help kick-start the transition to electrification.

Ride-hailing service Lyft announced today that it plans to transition to 100 percent electric vehicles by 2030. This would include the company’s rentals to consumers, future autonomous vehicles, and the personal cars of drivers on the Lyft platform. While the lead time from here to electrification is essentially a decade, this changeover will require drivers either to lease vehicles from Lyft or purchase their own EVs at some point in the future.

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“Now more than ever, we need to work together to create cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities,” said John Zimmer, Lyft president. Zimmer also notes that if delivery services, ride hailing companies, and other vehicle-based businesses transition to electric vehicles, “it can be the catalyst for transforming transportation as a whole.”

Lyft says that right now the cost of an EV is higher than that of a gas vehicle, but that cost is expected to come down during the next decade so drivers would be able to afford those vehicles by 2030. The company contends that the cost of fuel and maintenance is already lower than that of a gas-powered vehicle. Also, the company’s Express Drive rental-car partner program for ride-share drivers is already offering electric vehicles for drivers to use in select markets; Lyft says that those contractors are seeing a $50 to $70 weekly reduction in fuel costs.

Lyft expects that by 2030, the total savings for drivers who have switched to EVs could be as much as $10 billion in reduced operating costs.

The company’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint is commendable, but it doesn’t take into account that it, Uber, and other ride-hailing services have actually increased traffic congestion in cities like San Francisco, according to studies.

The coronavirus pandemic has also taken its toll on the bottom line of companies like Lyft and Uber ,which weren’t profitable to begin with. Year over year, in April Lyft rides were down 75 percent and Uber rides were down 80 percent. Both have laid off employees while implementing cost-cutting measures.

Lyft says it wants to take this opportunity to “accelerate [Lyft’s] efforts to address the climate crisis.” During an online event Zimmerman said the company intends “to push hard on and lean into and hold ourselves accountable.” It now has 10 years to do so.

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