California’s new standard that turns passenger car fleets into zero-emission vehicles is winning for public health, the climate and business drivers, science group says

SACRAMENTO, Calif .– (BUSINESS WIRE) – The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted today to endorse the country’s first standard to move fleets of vehicles to zero emissions by 2030. The Clean Miles standard will ensure that 90% of kilometers driven at across California are taking place in zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and providing a model for other states to tackle pollution from Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies.

“This regulation is a great victory for public health, the climate and for carpool drivers as well if Uber and Lyft step up and support the electrification of their fleets,” said Elizabeth Irvin, senior transport analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). . “Cycle touring companies have failed to deliver on their promise of a future with fewer cars and less pollution. Instead, carpooling services in urban areas have increased pollution and congestion and reduced the number of users of climate-friendly public transport. California air regulators took a critical step today to ensure these companies take responsibility for their pollution by switching to electric vehicles.

Numerous studies show that the rise of Uber and Lyft has diverted riders from transit and other climate-friendly modes of transportation and increased air pollution in American cities. Surveys of Californian cyclists, for example, indicate that 24 percent of ungrouped rides and 36% of group trips would have been used by public transport, on foot or by bicycle, or not at all. And, according to a UCS 2020 analysis, travel 69% more polluting that the journeys they replace, and an unconnected Uber or Lyft journey is 47% more polluting than a private car trip.

According to a UCS Analysis CARB data, the transition from carpooling fleets to electric vehicles, as required by the standard, is affordable. It would cost companies less than 4 cents per mile, or about 43 cents per trip. Drivers, on the other hand, would benefit from reduced fuel and maintenance costs and save around $ 1000 per year.

Uber and Lyft oppose covering the cost of new electric vehicles for their drivers and have called on the state to fund the transition. Irvin said California regulators must hold companies accountable for paying the bill.

“Uber and Lyft jointly spent over $ 100 million on a voting measure last year to defeat California labor protections for drivers, so their drivers are still seen as contractors, not employees.” , she said. “This is why it’s so critical that CARB and California Public Utilities Commission regulators demand that businesses, not their drivers, bear the initial cost of transitioning to electric vehicles and ensure that drivers benefit.” the benefits of driving cars that are less expensive to drive. and maintain. ”

“California already invests millions of dollars each year to help car owners switch to electricity,” she added. “Uber and Lyft must do their part to fight fleet pollution by supporting their drivers’ transition to zero-emission vehicles.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists brings rigorous, independent science to solving the world’s most pressing problems. By joining with people from across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative and practical solutions for a healthy, secure and sustainable future. For more information, visit

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