California’s long-running fight to curb exhaust and carbon pollution from cars and trucks is taking a new turn as the state just approved the first rule in the U.S. requiring rideshare operators such as Uber and Lyft to transition from gasoline to electric vehicles in their networks by the end of the decade.
The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the Clean Mile Standard in Sacramento on Thursday, which phases in the new rule starting in 2023. In the initial year, just 2% of vehicle miles traveled in rideshare fleets in the state need to be in electric vehicles, but the requirement jumps to 50% by 2027 and 90% by 2030. The new rule, which will to be enforced by the California Public Utilities Commission that regulates rideshare companies, will also try to ensure that the cost of electric vehicles for drivers, access to charging stations and the cost of charging is eased for drivers, particularly those with lower incomes.
“This move is yet another piece of the comprehensive program California has developed to protect public health from harmful emissions,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “The transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of which come from light-duty vehicles. This action will help provide certainty to the state’s climate efforts and improve air quality in our most disadvantaged communities.”