Even though electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular, many do not have access to try them – Lyft is changing that. The rideshare company has just announced that in collaboration with Governor Jared Polis and Mayor Michael Hancock it will add 200 long-range electric rideshare vehicles to its fleet this December as part of the Express Drive program. The new addition will be part of the largest deployment of electric vehicles in Colorado and one of the largest within the United States.
This past May Governor Polis signed a bill allowing rideshare rental programs to qualify for electric vehicle tax credits at the same level as consumers – giving credits of up to $5,000 per vehicle. These initiatives helped pushed Lyft to introduce the 200 electric vehicles into the Express Drive program and continue efforts to add more to the fleet as the years go on.
“It’s because of Colorado, Governor Polis and his administration, and state legislative leaders’ forward-thinking policies that we’re able to bring on electric vehicles at scale,” said Cal Lankton the vice president of Fleet & Global Operations for Lyft. “This type of partnership will encourage Lyft and others to continue investing in electric vehicles, and support infrastructure in Colorado.”
“Part of improving transportation in Colorado is getting more and better choices for consumers. That means finding innovative ideas to provide quicker, cleaner, efficient ways to move around our cities,” said Polis. “And now with Colorado and Lyft leading the way in access to electric rideshare vehicles, we’re one step closer to achieving our vision for a cleaner future with more affordable transportation options.”
As Lyft adds the 200 vehicles to its force it is able to give drivers and riders a chance to have more exposure to electric vehicles. Along with the new exposure to electric transportation, the new fleet will also provide a new earning potential for drivers as electric vehicles can be less expensive than their gasoline-fueled counterparts. Lyft deployed electric vehicles in Atlanta and Seattle earlier this year and has estimated that the drivers are saving around $70-100 per week on fuel costs.
On top of that, over time the electric vehicles may also help lower charging costs for all electric vehicles in Colorado. The use of high-mileage electric vehicle fleets such as Lyft’s would allow charging operators to recoup their investments at a faster rate and allow them to build additional public infrastructure.
“Today, transportation represents nearly 30 percent of carbon emissions in Denver and is a leading source of air pollution. Getting more EVs out on the road and getting more EV infrastructure built is critical to reaching our emission reduction goal, as well as ensuring environmental justice and equity as Denver transitions to carbon-free energy and transportation systems,” Mayor Hancock said. “What Lyft is doing here in Denver and Colorado is a phenomenal step in the right direction, and we have to keep working on more ways to reduce our carbon emissions and address climate change.”
The electrified fleet will be obtainable through Lyft’s Express Drive program – a program that allows Lyft drivers the ability to access rental cars to use to earn with Lyft. The vehicles will be available through Lyft’s local rental partner, Flexdrive, starting at the beginning of December.
Lyft has a larger end goal of eventually moving to all-electric vehicles.
All photography courtesy of Lyft.