Among vehicles on the road, cars going around for hours at a time giving different people rides are among the most important. Perhaps most importantly, it helps to reduce their carbon footprint, as EVs produce fewer emissions than non-electric cars. They are also less expensive to run and maintain than traditional vehicles, resulting in cheaper rides for customers and/or better take-home pay for drivers. EVs offer a smoother, quieter ride experience, making them more pleasant and enjoyable for drivers and passengers alike. Encouraging drivers to switch to EVs is a win-win situation for rideshare companies and their customers.
So, it’s good for all of these reasons to see recent announcements from Uber and Lyft that help move the transition to EVs in those services forward. Uber’s working to expand charging opportunities for drivers, and Lyft is helping make cleaner rides available for more passengers. Let’s take a closer look at these announcements.
Uber & BP Team Up To Provide EV Charging For Drivers
This groundbreaking collaboration between a ride-hailing platform and an integrated energy company is thought to be the first of its kind. Together, they will combine their global influence to help drivers make the transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) by providing reliable and accessible charging options, including ultra-fast charging. Uber’s goal is to transition 100% of its rides to Electric Vehicles (EVs), micromobility or public transit by 2040, while bp aspires to become a net zero company by 2050 or even earlier, and to contribute to the world reaching net zero emissions.
“Drivers on Uber’s platform need great value access to the fast, reliable charging infrastructure we’re building as they make the switch to electric. We’re investing billions of dollars worldwide in high-speed EV charging, digital products and services, and large scale bp pulse Gigahubs that will help commercial customers eliminate tailpipe emissions,” said Richard Bartlett, CEO, bp pulse. “I’m delighted we are building on our existing relationship and now have a global agreement to support ride-hail drivers with charging and more, at scale, helping Uber make their incredible 2040 ambition a reality.”
In their initial collaboration, Uber and bp will focus on markets including Europe, the US, and the UK to help meet Uber’s 2030 targets. Australia and New Zealand are also included in their plans. The two companies will join forces to offer drivers of Uber’s platform access to bp pulse’s high speed charging network with special offers.
Back in 2021, bp Pulse and Uber began their strategic relationship when bp opened its first rapid commercial charging hub on London’s Park Lane and Uber was the first ride-hailing platform to offer drivers access to it. Currently, over 15% of miles driven with Uber in London are electric and the company plans for a 100% EV fleet in London by 2025. Drivers registered on Uber’s platforms in Europe are switching to EVs five times faster than general population.
Through this partnership, Uber will be able to leverage bp Pulse’s network of EV chargers to help drivers go electric. Already, they have added a Charging Map in the Driver app to show drivers where the nearest EV chargers are as well as launching an EV Hub in the Uber Driver app. This Hub serves as a one-stop shop for drivers who may benefit from comparing total cost of ownership (TCO) between an EV and non-EV vehicle.
Lyft Expands EV Ride Availability In The United States
Lyft recently announced that business travelers in select cities will soon be able to make specific requests for electric or hybrid vehicles directly from the app. This is a major step forward in their goal of reaching 100% EVs on their platform by 2030.
Lyft is taking steps to connect more riders with EVs and other sustainable vehicles by expanding its “Green” mode to select cities across the country beginning April 17. Business profile users will be the first to gain access this new option, allowing them to make direct requests for an EV or hybrid vehicle through the Lyft app for their next trip.
“We’ve seen an explosion of interest in EVs — and once a driver or rider gets into an EV, they’re more likely to prefer them moving forward. By rolling out ‘Green’ across the country, we can nudge riders to take more sustainable forms of travel, helping us reach our shared climate goals sooner and ultimately reducing our carbon footprint faster. It’s a win/win for riders, drivers, and the communities we serve,” said Paul Augustine, Lyft’s Director of Sustainability.
“Green” mode is now available in Portland and will soon be expanding to 14 additional markets including San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Boston, New York City, Chicago, San Diego, Washington D.C., Austin, Denver, Orange County, Sacramento and Phoenix. With just a work email address users can quickly create a Lyft business profile and start ordering green rides in the app as it becomes available in their area.
Lyft is continuing its mission to make the platform more sustainable and the benefits of EVs more equitable with this new expansion. Just last December, it unveiled a new suite of offerings and partnerships to help drivers switch to EVs, including a ride challenge for California drivers, discounts on charging, expanded EV inventory for the Express Drive rental program. Additionally, Lyft Business launched a reporting tool in January to help partners track their total emissions on the platform. As a leading micromobility operator, Lyft is furthering its commitment to zero-emissions transportation.
Lyft says they’re taking a holistic approach to sustainability and environmental justice by helping drivers transition to electric vehicles and riders take more sustainable forms of travel. The company is also working hard to help businesses reduce their carbon footprints through strategic investments, and advocating for smart policies to advance their climate goals.
We reached out to Lyft and asked them when this option will be available to all passengers, and they told us they’re only starting with business travelers, but will open this up to everybody “as soon as possible”.
Still A Long Ways To Go
One of the big challenges for getting rideshare drivers to switch to EVs has been the charging times. With a gas-powered vehicle, drivers can get back on the road again and keep earning money in minutes. With an EV, charging times can mean getting fewer rides and making less money. But, as charging technology improves both at stations and for vehicles, this becomes less of a problem. If companies can keep doing things to encourage drivers to switch, the tipping point of mass adoption by their drivers will come.
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