By Mike Murphy
Lyft Inc. pledged Wednesday that every vehicle on its platform will be electric or zero-emissions by 2030, saying the coronavirus pandemic has created an opportunity to rebuild businesses and communities for a “cleaner and more sustainable” future.
“Now more than ever, we need to work together to create cleaner, healthier and more equitable communities,” said Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer, in a blog post . “If other rideshare and delivery companies, auto makers and rental car companies make this shift, it can be the catalyst for transforming transportation as a whole.”
The ride-hailing service said it will work to transition all of its drivers from gas-powered to “100% electric vehicles” over the next decade, including giving its drivers the option to rent electric cars from Lyft.
The company said that switching its fleet to electric vehicles has the potential to avoid tens of millions of tons of greenhouse-gas emissions and save more than a billion gallons of gas over the next decade.
While Lyft did not say whether drivers still wishing to drive their personal gas-powered cars would be able to if they choose, it suggested it will try to make electric vehicles the most appealing and cost-effective option, hoping drivers will follow.
Lyft /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT -1.74% said that as batteries become cheaper, electric vehicles will be “more economical” options than gas-powered cars by mid-decade.
“But at the end of the day, meeting our commitment is on us, not on drivers,” Lyft said. “By working with policymakers and partners, and harnessing the power of the driver community, we can drive down the cost of EVs, expand EV incentives and infrastructure, and help drivers switch to electric over time in a way that is cost-effective, sustainable and profitable.”
The company added that as it shifts to all-electric, it will end its current carbon offsets program, which may mean emissions from Lyft vehicles will rise in the short term. But Lyft said in the long term, the shift to EVs will mean drastically reduced emissions.
Lyft shares fell Wednesday, and are down nearly 18% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.30% 3.6% decline this year.