Ride-hailing’s carbon footprint
June 4, 2021 - According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, ride-hailing services are increasing climate emissions, with each journey causing about 69% more greenhouse gases than the trips they displace.
Under fire for their enormous carbon footprints, ride-hailing giants, including Uber and Lyft, last summer set a 2030 deadline to transition entirely to electric vehicles in North America and Europe.
Data supplied by BloombergNEF suggests that the sums needed to push the ride-hailing industry towards electrification will be enormous. BNEF puts the total at $14.6 billion in investment by the companies, automakers, and governments to make EVs the most economical choice for ride-hailing drivers in the U.S and Europe.
The non-profit advocacy group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, examined carbon emissions in seven U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.
A solo ride-hailing trip, on average, emits nearly 50% more CO2 than one in a private vehicle, the researchers found. A pooled ride-hailing trip, which multiple passengers share, emits almost the same amount as a private car ride. Only 15% of all U.S. ride-hailing trips are shared, according to the report.
Ride-hailing drivers spend some 42% of their service time “deadheading,” either waiting for or travelling towards a “pick up.”
In China, a fifth of the ride-hailing fleet is electric. Beijing-based Didi Chuxing Technology Co., the world’s largest ride-hailing company, has about one million EVs on its network, intending to hit 10 million by 2028.