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Lyft makes 200 electric cars available to drivers in Denver

Lyft wants all its rides to become powered by electricity, and in order to make it happen, they have to make it easier for their drivers to drive electric.

This week, they announced the deployment of 200 electric cars available to drivers in Denver.

It’s their biggest deployment of electric vehicles to date:

We’re announcing a big step forward in this commitment today in Denver, where Lyft is launching 200 long-range electric vehicles (EVs) into our Denver Express Drive rental program. This is our largest single deployment of EVs to date — the largest single deployment in Colorado’s history, and one of the largest in the nation — and it will enable more Lyft drivers to choose EVs instead of conventional vehicles.

Express Drive is a rental service for Lyft drivers to rent cars directly from the company.

GM is offering a similar program with Chevy Bolt EVs through its “Maven” mobility brand.

Lyft says that drivers are saving between $70 and $100 per week in fuel costs:

Ride-share rentals are an effective, flexible way to overcome this hurdle and provide access to those who have been previously excluded. And once in the hands of drivers, EVs can increase net driver earnings — after our first deployments, EV renters in our Express Drive program have saved approximately $70-100 per week on fuel costs alone.

They describe the availability of electric vehicles through their Express Drive rental service as the first step to eventually have all Lyft drives being electric:

Lyft is striving to make every ride 100% electric over time. This transition starts with electrifying fleets like those that are part of Lyft’s Express Drive rental program, which because of their higher utilization, will have an even larger positive impact when compared with personally owned EVs.

They didn’t confirm which electric vehicles are being deployed as part of the fleet.

Electrek’s Take

This is a no brainer. Taxi and ride-sharing services need to go all-electric.

We have heard several initiatives from both Lyft and Uber on that front, but I think they could be doing a lot more.

I was talking to an Uber driver in Paris two weeks ago who was driving a new Nissan Leaf. She said that she was saving about $1,000 a month in gas.

She described going electric as a no-brainer for a ride-sharing driver.

In most cases, the fuel savings are going to cover the monthly cost of the electric vehicle whether you have it financed or leased.

Some people are reticent because they are not confident that EVs can last as long as gas-powered cars because of the battery pack, but we have seen some owners put hundred of thousands of miles on some EVs without major issues.

Of course, the big disruptor for ride-sharing services is going to be self-driving, but until that happens, going electric is the most important thing.

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