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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Electric Vehicle Rideshare Business Model: Transportation network company pilot program providing electric vehicles for low-income rideshare driver use


Rideshare services are a significant part of the transportation mix, increasing vehicle emissions that cause environmental and social impacts. According to the California Air Resource Board (CARB), transportation network company (TNC) fleet emissions per passenger mile traveled are 50% higher than the statewide passenger vehicle average. Rideshare-related emissions are significant, projected to account for 19% of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 2040 (Atlas Public Policy, 2019). The Rideshare industry is now regulated in California to reduce 90% of vehicle emissions by 2030 (CARB). Reportedly, only 0.2 percent of TNC vehicles were electric as of 2018 (International Council on Clean Transportation, 2019). Additionally, Low-income rideshare drivers face barriers to accessing electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging, further complicating achieving regulatory mandates.

This project identifies the barriers to electric vehicle charging and electric vehicles. The paper provides a business model outline for the transportation network company industry that identifies criteria and location of pilot sites for rideshare electric vehicle fleets with EV charging ability in low-income communities. Additionally, the project outlines the estimated costs of this pilot project, the expected income and appreciation on investments, and a proposed public rebate program to incentivize the private sector deployment of EV fleets at identified sites.

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