LOS ANGELES, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, April 7, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) will vote on a proposed decision requiring personal ownership or long-term lease of all vehicles used for rideshare services (also called transportation network companies, or TNCs) like Lyft and Uber.
If the CPUC approves the decision, it would limit future growth of electric vehicles (EVs) in rideshare by prohibiting car sharing among multiple drivers. Professional management under a shared model is the only way EVs can, in a practical sense, be put to use in ridesharing, given the complexities of operating them for this use.
By implication, the ruling would force TNC drivers in California to use their own vehicles, which are almost exclusively gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine vehicles. The ruling would support the individualized ownership model that drives pollution, traffic congestion, and planning challenges. Additionally, economically disadvantaged drivers would disproportionately be cut out of participation in rideshare because they lack access and means to purchase a vehicle or qualify for a long-term lease.
"The proposed rules would make it nearly impossible for people who cannot afford personal vehicles to earn income as Lyft drivers - and would roll back our efforts to bring zero-emission vehicles on the Lyft platform," said Emily Castor, Lyft's Director of Transportation Policy. "Programs like Lyft's partnership with Evercar help people quickly and affordably access electric vehicles to use as ridesharing drivers, providing a flexible way to make ends meet while also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The CPUC ruling would be in opposition to multiple California state policy objectives and programs like Los Angeles' pilot for low- income citizens, which are designed to advance car-sharing, zero emission vehicle adoption, and equitable access to transportation.
"Rather than bolstering safety or quality of ridesharing services as intended, the decision, if approved, will quite literally remove jobs from the economy and have an adverse effect on the local environment," said Michael Brylawski, CEO of Evercar.
The proposed ruling would prohibit car sharing companies like Evercar, which operates a fleet of more than 50 EVs in Los Angeles, from operating. Evercar gives TNC drivers access to professionally managed EVs for as little as $5 per hour. The company's model also supports driver and passenger safety through background and driving record checks, and by ensuring all vehicles are new, well-maintained, fully insured and equipped with advanced monitoring hardware to detect vehicle issues.
"The reality is that you'll be hard-pressed to find a TNC driver using a personally-owned EV today because they're costly and challenging to operate in rideshare without additional support and resources," Brylawski explained. "The only way to increase EV adoption within ridesharing and fully realize the benefits of the technology is to move away from personal ownership, toward a model for shared EVs."
A CPUC ruling against the proposed decision would support continued adoption of EVs in California, and encourage TNCs and car share companies like Evercar to innovate to further improve EV services and support. Drivers, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged, would not face undue challenges in accessing economic opportunities provided by rideshare services, and passengers would have more opportunities to experience riding in an EV.
Evercar is making the on-demand economy sustainable by providing affordable access to shared electric vehicles for use in rideshare and delivery services. Evercar is headquartered in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Indianapolis and San Francisco. The executive team together brings decades of advanced fuel vehicle and fleet experience to the company's operations and client work. Learn more at www.myevercar.com and follow Evercar on Twitter and Facebook.
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