12.31.2019 9:53 PM

Innovation

Los Angeles might make Uber and Lyft go completely electric

L.A.'s mayor has some big plans.

TierneyMJ/Shutterstock

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has some big plans for reducing LA’s greenhouse gas emissions, and Uber and Lyft may end up in his crosshairs. Garcetti recently told Financial Times that he might force both companies to only use vehicles that are completely electric.

“We have the power to regulate car share,” Garcetti said. “We can mandate and are looking closely at mandating that any of those vehicles in the future be electric.”

This would be part of Garcetti’s plan to reduce air pollution in LA by 25 percent by the year 2028. Back in November, the mayor released what was called the “Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0.”

The mayor plans for Los Angeles to have 84,000 public and workplace chargers, 30 percent of all light-duty passenger vehicles will be electric and 80 percent of all vehicles sold will be electric by the year 2028.

“We can’t turn the tide on the climate crisis until we work across sectors and city limits to put the brakes on dangerous pollution and kick our zero emissions transportation future into high gear,” Garcetti said in a statement. “The Roadmap charts a course toward a cleaner transit network — and draws up a blueprint for cities worldwide to follow, so all of us can invest in the smart policies and green energy that will strengthen our families’ well-being and quality of life for generations to come.”

Mayor Garcetti has been a leader on fighting climate change, and he is part of both the Climate Mayors group and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. The first group is United States mayors that are committing to doing what they can to fight climate change, and the second group is an international network of mayors working to fight climate change.

Some have speculated that the whole state of California might soon require companies like Uber and Lyft go all-electric. That would be a big deal, considering California is the most populous state in the nation.

Uber and Lyft have both ramped up efforts over the years to increase the number of electric and hybrid vehicles being used by their drivers. Uber briefly offered incentives for drivers to switch to an electric vehicle in 2018. Earlier this year, Uber announced it was partnering with the electric vehicle charging station network EVgo to start electrifying its fleet of cars.

See also: All your pictures stored in the cloud are terrible for the environment

Lyft has been more aggressive with pushing an environmentally-friendly brand, as it committed to going carbon neutral back in 2018. Lyft has also tested out letting its users opt to ride in an electric vehicle instead of one that uses gas this year. Just recently, Lyft announced it was adding 200 electric cars to its Denver fleet.

It may take some time, but it looks like we’ll soon only be riding in electric vehicles when we order a ride from one of our ride-hailing apps. Considering people using these apps has not been so great for the environment thus far, that will be a welcome development.

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