Lyft has announced concrete goals for the company to make positive changes affecting the global environment.
Among these goals is that, by 2025, Lyft’s efforts will reduce carbon emissions for the transportation sector as a whole by 5 million tons per year.
In order to meet climate impact goals, Lyft has pledged that all autonomous vehicles will be powered by 100% renewable energy. This will begin with this year’s launch of the first fleet of nuTonomy autonomous vehicles, which will be available commercially in Boston later this year.
In a blog post announcing the company’s climate impact goals, Lyft stated that electric autonomous vehicles accessed through the Lyft platform will account for 1 billion rides per year, and that this, combined with renewable energy use, will help to create the 5 million ton/year reduction in CO2 emissions.
The company has also hired Paul Hawken, environmental activist, as an advisor. Hawken is the author of Drawdown – The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, and will provide Lyft with expert assistance in creation and implementation of its climate action strategy.
Lyft co-founders believe that the company will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions by transportation as a whole by addressing the crux of the issue. They said that the true problem lies in the underutilization of the personal vehicle, which is used only 4% of the time. A Lyft vehicle, used for taxi and ride-sharing services, is used 50% of the time in comparison. Higher utilization means that the cost of electric vehicles is recouped more quickly, which will, in turn, drive the adoption of electric vehicles by the transportation market as a whole.
“We believe that ridesharing, combined with autonomous vehicles, will be the driving force that brings electric vehicles from a tiny portion (~0.1%) of all cars on the road today to a significant majority within 20 years,” said the company founders in the blog post.
The announcement of climate impact goals follows Lyft’s commitment to continue to uphold the climate goals of the Paris Agreement following President Trump’s stated intention to withdraw. The “We Are Still In” campaign, led by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, received support from many U.S. technology giants including Apple, Amazon, and Google.