Starting in 2023, ridesharing operators in California like Uber or Lyft have to transition their vehicles from gasoline to electric engines until end of the decade. According to this new Clean Mile Standard, in the first year only 2% of vehicle miles traveled must be electric. However, in 2027 this number rises to 50% and even 90% in 2030. Included in this new regulation is also the assurance that the costs for electric vehicles, the charging infrastructure as well as for charging are partially covered and eased for the drivers, especially if they have lower incomes. In addition, ridesharing companies can get credits for meeting the states emission targets, if they invest in sidewalk and bike lane infrastructure which can support active transportation as well as help transit through integrated booking apps.

The legislation is part of California’s goal to become more sustainable. The transport sector causes nearly half of the states emissions. Therefore, it further targets to ban new gasoline cars by 2035 and reduce the emissions of ridesharing fleets. California furthermore incentives purchased of zero-emission vehicles through a rebate from up to USD 1,500 as well as a separate state program with a rebate from up to USD 7,000 for buyers with lower incomes. Up to USD 9,500 are offered to low-income drivers for scrapping their inefficient, high-pollution vehicles for more sustainable alternatives.

Also, the companies Uber and Lyft themselves made efforts in recent years to reduce their emissions: Uber is planning to invest up to USD 800 million to support their drivers transitioning to electric vehicles with the goal to offer all its rides electrically until 2040. Lyft is even more ambitious and sets this target for 2030, aligning it with the new legislation.

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