Game changers. That is what we keep writing and reading about in the cleantech field. On-demand, app-based taxis (often called ridesharing vehicles even though that’s seldom what they actually are) have taken the transportation world by storm in the past decade, and electric vehicles are starting to do so as well. It only makes sense, on a societal level, to combine them as quickly as possible. Taxi drivers drive a lot, which means they emit a lot of pollution, unless they’re driving on electricity. The good news is that a new partnership encourages more of that.
Electrify America and Lyft are now collaborating on a program to bring electric vehicle charging to more drivers (in Colorado). The new program will provide people using “Express Drive” EV rentals from Lyft with charging access on Electrify America’s broad and growing network of DC fast chargers.
To drive Lyft with your own electric car involves a lot of time sitting and charging — depending on the level of charge and local infrastructure, this is sometimes inconvenient. Having access to reliable, abundant, ultra-fast Electrify America charging stations can make the difference between a job that works and one that doesn’t. I know this from my own personal experiences.
The press release continues that, “Express Drive is Lyft’s short-term car rental program that gives people wanting to drive on the rideshare platform access to an electric vehicle through its rental providers. The ultra-fast DC charging on Electrify America’s network is automatically included with the vehicle’s weekly rental and helps ensure that Lyft’s Express Drive EVs spend less time charging and more time giving rides.” In other words, you don’t pay more to charge on Electrify America’s chargers.
Despite repeated mention of Electrify America, though, it appears this partnership is just rolling out in the Denver metro area for now, with broader geographical expansion presumably planned for later (details are not clear). Lyft’s Express Drive members in the Denver area will have access to 7 Electrify America stations that house a total of 30 chargers. Lyft plans to add approximately 19 additional stations and about 75 more DC fast chargers in December by the end of 2021.
If you have the opportunity. choose an electric Lyft option when getting driven around town, and encourage your drivers by remembering to tip.
“This unique relationship with Lyft will be a game-changer in helping us advance EV adoption and in reaching new consumer audiences through infrastructure, education and awareness initiatives,” said Brendan Jones, chief operating officer at Electrify America. “With this agreement, Lyft drivers will enjoy the advantages of Electrify America’s ultra-fast and convenient charging network to ensure that they can get back on the road quickly to transport riders to their destinations.”
“Lyft’s mission is to improve lives with the world’s best transportation, and part of that commitment is taking action to put more clean vehicles on the road,” said Cal Lankton, Vice President for Fleet and Global Operations at Lyft. “However, we can’t have an impact without providing our drivers with fast, convenient access to charging, which is why we are thrilled to be working with Electrify America.”