New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that Uber and Lyft will be required to have a zero-emissions fleet by 2030 during his State of the City speech on Thursday. The plans are expected to affect the estimated 100,000 for-hire vehicles operating within the city.
Mayor Adams noted in his State of the City address that NYC is committed to making the city healthier and more sustainable, and one way to do that is to electrify the vehicles in the Big Apple. Both Uber and Lyft will be expected to support the transition of EVs, as the plan intends to help relieve NYC’s for-hire drivers of some costs. The New York City government’s release regarding the State of the City address includes language that seems to indicate the businesses will be responsible for supporting their employees “with no new costs for individual drivers.”
The Mayor noted that both Uber and Lyft are embracing the shift, as both companies have committed to long-term goals that will see drivers switch to EVs by the end of 2030. Additionally, Adams said that New York City residents should attempt to drive an EV. It plans to support this with plans to establish more EV charging infrastructure throughout all five boroughs.
With ride-hail drivers classified as independent contractors who use their personal vehicles to drive, convincing them to buy or lease a new electric car may not be easy. One solution to that problem is the partnership between Hertz and Uber, allowing Uber drivers to rent EVs at a discounted weekly rate.
In January, Hertz expanded that partnership in Europe by making 25,000 EVs available to European Uber drivers. Similar plans could be utilized in the United States with proper funding. The fleets will be regulated through the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, according to The Verge.
In a statement to Teslarati, Josh Gold, Uber’s Senior Director, Public Policy & Communications, touched upon important goal with the city:
“We applaud the Mayor’s ambition for reducing emissions, an important goal we share. Uber has been making real progress to become the first zero-emissions mobility platform in North America, and there’s much more to do. We look forward to working with the TLC to achieve zero-emissions in New York City in a way that benefits drivers, riders, and the city.”
Teslarati also reached out to Lyft, but did not immediately receive a response.
Revel, the ridesharing service that launched a fleet of Tesla Model Ys in 2021, has provided drivers with vehicles and a platform to make money and have access to benefits. Revel CEO Frank Reig said that he commends Mayor Adams’ move to push Uber and Lyft to fully sustainable fleets:
“As New York City’s first all-electric rideshare service, we know Mayor Adams’ ambitious plan to electrify the for-hire-vehicle industry is both doable and essential. This is what real leadership looks like. Revel will be increasing the amount of fast charging stalls six-fold over the next two years in neighborhoods where drivers live and work, making owning and operating an EV a reality for the industry.”
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