New research emphasizes the need for electric rideshare vehicles | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: June 21, 2024

With versatile options, increasingly reliable batteries, and charging stations popping up everywhere, making the switch to an electric vehicle is easier than ever. New research shows that while switching to an electric vehicle at home is a great option for supporting green energy, making the switch in rideshare industries such as Uber or Lyft can provide three times more carbon benefits than switching a privately owned vehicle. 

While this new evidence should not discourage private vehicle owners from going electric, it amplifies the need to push the transition in the transportation sector. Ride-hailing vehicles travel more miles than personal vehicles, making them more efficient and usually charge during the day when a greater quantity of solar energy is powering the grid.

The study, from the University of California, Davis, used data from Uber and Lyft on travel behavior and public charging use in California between early 2017 through late 2018. 

Additionally, the study found that although these vehicles make up a tiny fraction of traffic, they used more than 30 percent of the energy provided by public charging stations, indicating a need for more available public charging stations as electric fleets expand. 

Both Uber and Lyft have committed to operating completely electric fleets by 2030. The gig economy is growing and playing a bigger role in our transportation and service industries. Making the transition to green energy in these new and rapidly evolving sectors is key for supporting non-carbon intensive infrastructure. 

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