California now mandates cab type rides in electric cars only

NEW YORK  -California’s clean air regulator on Thursday adopted rules to mandate that nearly all trips on Uber and Lyft‘s ride-hailing platforms have to be in electric vehicles over the next few years, the first such regulation by a U.S. state.

In written comments to the agency ahead of Thursday’s vote, Uber and Lyft said they supported the regulation’s goals but called for more government to aid their many lower and middle-income drivers with the costs for the transition.

The rules, adopted through a unanimous vote by the California Air Resources Board(CARB), mandate that EVs account for 90% of ride-hailing vehicle miles traveled by 2030.

That is a lesser goal than the companies themselves have set: both Uber and Lyft last year committed to converting their U.S. fleets entirely to EVs by that year.

But the companies said achieving those goals is unrealistic without additional government subsidies for EVs and charging infrastructure.

The companies said CARB’s targets were based on uncertain and unrealistic assumptions, risking harm to drivers if EV and charging availability does not expand as projected by regulators.

Several of CARB’s 14 board members shared concerns over the impact on drivers during Thursday’s hearing, criticizing the companies for not doing more to help them.

“There is no way for us to make sure that the (companies) actually bear the costs to address the greenhouse gases and air pollution they’re creating and profiting off,” said board member Nathan Fletcher.

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