New Lyft Green Mode Allows Riders To Choose Hybrid and Electric Cars

Lyft Green Mode

Courtesy: Lyft

New Lyft Green Mode Allows Riders To Choose Hybrid and Electric Cars

Lyft announced on Wednesday that it’s introducing Lyft Green Mode in Seattle, Washington with the hopes of expanding it to other cities in the future.  Lyft Green mode allows users to select an electric or hybrid vehicle.  The vehicles may come with a longer wait time, according to the ride sharing company.  Users in Seattle will see the option on the home screen of the app.

The company said it will encourage the use of more electric and hybrid vehicles in its fleet through its Express Drive program.  Express Drive is Lyft’s program that allows drivers to rent cars through the company.  Insurance and maintenance fees are paid by the company.  Lyft says it will encourage drivers to choose electric cars through economic incentive.  The fees associated with electric cars will be less than a standard gasoline-powered car.  The rental will also include unlimited charging costs.  Initially, the program for electric rental cars through the Express Drive program will be available in Seattle and Atlanta.

In a blog post announcing the decision, Lyft said it is introducing the push for electric and hybrid vehicles to help fight global warming and improve the communities where they operate.  However, there are studies that suggest the ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber increase traffic on roads, leading to more pollution.   Critics also claim that ride sharing options lure people away from options that have less greenhouse emissions, particularly public transportation.

Regardless, this does help curb the cars that are currently on the road from emitting the amount of greenhouse emissions that otherwise would go into the air if they were using regular cars.  Lyft noted specific studies that found electric cars produce less than half the greenhouse emissions of a regular gasoline-powered car throughout their lifetime.  However, this may encourage people to feel good about taking a car rather than a more environmentally friendly option, which could lead to even more people using the platform and more congestion on the roads.  The company has long sought to increase the number of people using its service.

Bottom Line

It’s always great to help the environment, and half the amount of greenhouse emissions from a car is helpful for the environment.  I get the feeling, though, this may be a way to make environmentally focused people feel okay about using Lyft.  It’s a way of taking away the guilt for those who believe in curbing greenhouse emissions.  It’s a great selling point, as many companies are doing the same.  It remains to be seen the impact it will have on legitimately helping the environment.

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