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California adopted on Thursday a new regulation that requires rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions and ensure 90 percent of their vehicle miles are fully electric by 2030, in a first such regulation to reduce emissions in the United States.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted on Thursday the so-called Clean Miles Standard, which requires rideshare firms to start electrifying their car fleets as of 2023 and gradually raise the share of fully electric vehicles until reaching at least 90 percent in 2030.
The latest regulation is aimed at supporting California’s climate goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. California also has a target to achieve statewide carbon neutrality by 2045.
“The transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of which come from light-duty vehicles,” CARB Chair Liane M. Randolph said in a statement.
The transportation sector accounts for almost 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in California when accounting for fuel production, with light-duty vehicles making up 70 percent of the transportation sector’s direct emissions, the board says.
Uber and Lyft have committed to transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and the regulation aligns with those commitments, the California board said.
Announcing its 100-percent electric vehicle commitment last year, Lyft said that the goal would “require the collective action of industry, government, and nonprofit organizations to overcome the two significant barriers currently preventing wide-scale electrification: up-front cost of the vehicle and access to reliable, affordable charging.”
Also last year, Uber is set a goal to have 100 percent of rides take place in EVs in the U.S., Canadian, and European cities by 2030.
California’s mandate for Uber and Lyft could be followed by other U.S. states, which typically follow California in clean-air and clean energy standards.
The requirement in California comes days after U.S. President Joe Biden said this week “the future of the auto industry is electric,” as the Administration looks to strongly support the transition to EVs.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com