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Lyft Will Add 200 Kia Niro Electric Cars To Its Fleet In Denver

Lyft will make 200 KIA Niro Electric cars available to lease for its drivers in Denver as part of its campaign to transition all the cars in its fleet to battery power.

Starting in December, Lyft will begin adding 200 Kia Niro Electrics to the fleet of cars its drivers use in Denver. Drivers will be able to lease the cars from Lyft for as little as $230 a week. The lease fee increases in tiers based on the number of miles driven each month. According to the Colorado Sun, drivers can also sign up for a program that gives them access to several charging networks for an additional fee.

Kia Niro Electric for Lyft

Image credit: KIA

Before you say the lease rate is too high, consider this. Daniel Swannigen, who lives in the Denver metro area and has been driving for Lyft for about five years, says he spends more than $800 a month on gas. That’s before you take into account wear and tear on his vehicle. The new Lyft lease program will allow him and his fellow drivers to drive a new all-electric car with all maintenance, depreciation, and repairs included, for a little more than what he pays now for gasoline alone.

In its last session, the Colorado legislature opened up Colorado’s electric vehicle tax credit program to rental companies and businesses with fleets in an attempt to attract a company like Lyft to put EVs on the road. “The real key is that Colorado enabled an EV tax credit to be used for our industry and for our rentals, which doesn’t exist in every state,” Gabe Cohen, Lyft’s regional director for the Rocky Mountain region, tells the Sun. “That allowed the cost of the purchase to come down to the point where we could feel the economics worked out to launch this here. The policy was incredibly important.”

In a blog post announcing the new program, Lyft says, “As we build a company that connects people seamlessly, affordably, and reliably across all modes of transportation, we’re committed to doing so in a way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions — so our cities can be healthier, safer and more prosperous for all.”

The Niro Electric is not currently available for sale to private buyers in Colorado, even though the state government has enacted an aggressive program to promote electric cars in coming years. The problem is not a lack of buyers. The problem is that KIA seems to be having difficulty finding enough batteries to meet the demand for its electric car. Perhaps this move by Lyft will encourage KIA to bring the Niro Electric to showrooms in Colorado soon.

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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