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LA could mandate EVs for ride-sharing companies

The Mayor’s comments follow the recent launch of LA’s Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0, aiming to deliver a 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

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Los Angeles could force ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to deploy electric vehicles, Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Financial Times.

 

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

 

The comments come after the City of Los Angeles recently announced its Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0, aiming to deliver a 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and air pollution in time for the 2028 Olympic Games. The city is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050.

 

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

 

The plan includes investing in more electric buses and electric vehicles (EVs) for the city’s municipal fleet. Further, electric vehicles would account for 30 per cent of all light-duty passenger vehicles on the road and at least 80 per cent of all vehicles sold. Under the strategy, 20 per cent of all trips in single-occupancy vehicles would shift to zero-emissions public transport, bikes or other active transportation options.

 

Local actors

 

Mayor Garcetti told the Financial Times: “Local actors, no matter who is in power, are the most critical elements of whether or not we win the fight against climate change. It is local governments and regional governments that regulate or directly control building codes, transportation networks, and electricity generation, which together are 80 per cent of our emissions.”

 

Companies such as Uber and Lyft are working to deploy more electric vehicles but have not so far been mandated to do so and schemes are typically voluntary.

 

In June 2018, Uber announced the EV Champions Initiative, a year-long pilot programme in seven cities to provide cash incentives and app features to drivers that use electric cars. In September this year, the company partnered with EVgo to improve access to EV charging.

 

In London, which has a big push on reducing air pollution, Uber has launched the Clean Air Plan, aiming for every car on the app in the UK capital to be fully electric by 2025. From January 2019, a ‘clean air fee’ of 15p per mile has been included on every trip booked through the Uber app in London to go towards helping drivers to upgrade to an EV as well as other clean air initiatives.

 

 

LA is aiming to deliver a 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and air pollution in time for the 2028 Olympic Games.

 

Lyft launched a carbon offset programme in 2018, saying this ensures all Lyft rides are carbon neutral. The company is working towards a fully electric future and in some cities offers Green Mode, which allows passengers to choose hybrid or electric vehicles. In November, Lyft launched its largest single deployment of EVs to date – 200 long-range EVs into its Denver Express Drive rental programme.

 

Collaboration and control

 

Cities around the world have had a mixed relationship with ride-sharing companies. While acknowledging that ride-sharing can help reduce the use of individual private vehicles, there have also been clashes over licencing, taxes, employment, safety, congestion and more, with cities attempting to re-exert more control in many areas.

 

This has caused further friction in some cases. LA, for instance, has an ongoing dispute with Uber over the city’s rules on data-sharing for bikes and scooters.

 

Last month, Los Angeles announced the creation of Urban Movement Labs (UML), a “first-of-its-kind” public-private partnership to accelerate transportation innovation across the city. The venture brings together stakeholders, including city representatives, citizens, the private sector and academia, to collaborate on new ideas, test them on LA’s streets and roll them out. Lyft is one of the founding members.

 

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