Toronto ponders EV mandate for Ubers, taxis

Ride-sharing in Toronto could soon become an eco-friendly way to travel, which might make you feel a little better about all those Uber charges. 

Driving the news: Following the lead of cities like Amsterdam and New York, Toronto is considering requiring vehicles-for-hire — like taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts — to be zero emission by 2031, under a new recommendation by the Municipal Licensing and Standards division. 

  • Recommendations include allocating city funds towards offsetting the cost of transitioning to EVs, as well as expanding charging infrastructure in the city.

  • Per Global News, there are about 1,800 public charging stations in the city of Toronto, falling well short of the expected demand as drivers shift toward EVs.

Zoom out: Uber and Lyft, two of the world’s biggest ride-sharing platforms, have committed to achieving net-zero emissions across their fleets. Uber is working to create a net-zero mobility platform in Canada, the US, and Europe by 2030, with a global goal set for 2040. 

  • Ride-sharing apps have to strike a delicate balance between rider demand and driver supply. That’s why hailing an Uber in the rain can cost you 4x more.

  • Right now, with few requirements to become a driver, here’s a steady supply of cars that keep surge pricing at bay and rides available within minutes.

Bottom line: If the barrier to entry for driving an Uber becomes an electric-powered car, riders could suffer from a lack of driver supply without the proper investments in place.