When you take a Lyft car rental service in the near future, you can specify that you’d want to be picked up in an electric or hybrid car. Upon its initial release on April 17th, Lyft Green will only be available to business travelers in certain locations.

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Lyft Green’s Previous Efforts

Lyft Green was first introduced in 2019 in Seattle, hoping to expand to additional cities. However, the service was discontinued the following year, in 2021. A Lyft representative stated that the service was “a bit ahead of its time,” and there wasn’t much interest in it initially. Since customers have had more experience with electric vehicles and are more enthusiastic about them, Lyft sees this as the first step in reintroducing the choice to the market at large.

Uber’s Strategy & Government Regulations

Uber’s Comfort Electric option lets users choose a high-end electric car like a Tesla or Audi, available in 14 more cities a week before the relaunch. Currently, 40 cities have access to Comfort Electric, while customers in other places may use Uber’s cheaper Uber Green service to order a hybrid or less flamboyant EV.

As part of its mission to have only electric cars on its platform by 2030, Lyft Green is following a California law that mandates all ride-hailing journeys be made in electric vehicles by 2021. If Lyft wants to do this, it must make some significant adjustments. The number of hybrids driven by Lyft drivers has increased, but the number of electric vehicles has not. According to Lyft’s 2022 ESG report, just 0.56% of all vehicle miles were traveled by electric vehicles in 2021.

Lyft’s Strategy To Increase EV Demand

While the representative said, there needed to be more electric vehicles (EVs) on the platform to make Lyft Green effective in 2019, this was likely due to demand exceeding supply. Only 4.1% of Uber’s trip miles in the US and Canada have been driven by EVs.

To encourage drivers to move to electric vehicles, Lyft extended its fleet of available electric vehicles and offered discounts on charging stations in December. In California, drivers were granted an additional $150 per week until the end of 2024 if they provided 50 trips in their own electric vehicles.

A representative for Lyft said drivers and the company divide the extra dollar riders pay for Lyft Green trips.

Uber collaborates with rental businesses to offer its drivers discounts on electric vehicles, and it pays drivers $1 for every trip they complete in an EV, up to a maximum of $4,000.

To increase the number of EV-driving Lyft drivers, the company will test out the Lyft Green program with businessmen and women taking company time trips. This is Lyft’s second business-related project for 2019. The firm released a new reporting tool in January to assist companies in keeping tabs on their emissions via the website.

Lyft Green’s Roll Out Under New Leadership

On the same day that Lyft Green debuts (April 17), the company announced that David Risher would be CEO. Logan Green and John Zimmer, co-founders of Lyft, have resigned as CEO and president. Risher’s strategy for Lyft is to compete more directly with Uber in the ride-hailing sector.

Already accessible in Portland, Lyft Green will soon be rolled out to a total of 14 other cities: San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Boston, New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Denver, Austin, Sacramento, Orange County, and Phoenix. The startup hopes to expand the service beyond business travelers as it refines it.

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Feature Image Source: Lyft