Lyft Says Their Self-Driving Electric Cars Will Be Powered With 100% Renewables

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Lyft is setting a new goal to have all of their electric, autonomous vehicles on its be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Last year, one of the company’s founders predicted that “a majority” of Lyft’s rides will be in self-driving cars by 2021. Lyft is predicting that by 2025 1 billion rides per year will be done with electric, autonomous vehicles. To power those electric autonomous vehicles, Lyft wants to use renewable energy.

Lyft recently announced that it would be partnering up with self-driving startup NuTonomy to dispatch a new fleet of autonomous, electric vehicles in Boston later this year to be tested by the public. Lyft will also be purchasing renewable energy certificates to offset emissions from their current fleet of electric autonomous vehicles, according to a company representative.

However, not all of Lyft’s autonomous cars will be electric. Lyft says it is “possible we may test a variety of prototype vehicle types in the future during the developmental phases of this technology.”

Yet as battery-powered technology matures, the company expects the vast majority of their vehicles to be electric.

“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,” say Logan Green and John Zimmer, the company’s co-founders in a blog post.

Zimmer and Green go on to speculate:

“The heart of our transportation problem is that personally-owned vehicles are underutilized. The average car is used only 4% of the time and for electric vehicles, it takes 10 years or more to recover the cost premium through fuel savings. In comparison, Lyft vehicles can be used much more efficiently — an electric, autonomous Lyft vehicle will be utilized over 50% of the time and payback its costs in just a few years through operational savings.”

Lyft’s climate goals were driven by Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull out of the Paris accord. The company has joined a group of businesses and local governments to pledging to uphold the tenants of the agreement.