California Sets Clean Miles Standard for Ridesharing Companies

Source: RL Martin

On May 20, 2021, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted unanimously to enact the Clean Miles Standard. This policy—the first of its kind nationwide—will require ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to ensure that 90 percent of the vehicle miles traveled by their fleets are electric, by 2030.

“This move is yet another piece of the comprehensive program California has developed to protect public health from harmful emissions,” said CARB Chair Liane M. Randolph. “The transportation sector is responsible for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority of which come from light-duty vehicles. This action will help provide certainty to the state’s climate efforts and improve air quality in our most disadvantaged communities.”

The Clean Miles Standard is the first action by a state government to formally require this fleet electrification. The target of 90 percent electric vehicle miles traveled is actually less ambitious than commitments Uber and Lyft made in 2020 to fully electrify their fleets by the year 2030. 

To support these electrification efforts, CARB pointed to several existing programs and rebates, which can support drivers as they convert to electric vehicles: the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, the Clean Cars 4 All program, and the Clean Fuels Reward. This program also aligns with the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program, which supports transportation electrification by deploying electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations.