Lyft car picking up a rider
Lyft is the latest car-sharing company to sign onto an effort to make ride sharing cars more efficient.
The post-millennial taxi service announced that it plans to introduce "thousands" of electric cars onto its platform and make it easy for riders to choose them using a new "Green Mode" in the Lyft app.
"These efforts will provide cleaner transportation options for Lyft riders, and increase net earnings for our driver community. Once adopted widely, EVs hold the promise of making cities more livable by dramatically reducing air pollution," the company said in a blog post Wednesday.
READ MORE: Uber starts paying drivers to buy electric
The company, which already bills itself as the only ride-sharing service to become carbon neutral after purchasing carbon credits to offset the emissions from its drivers' vehicles, says all the electric cars will be charged using renewable energy.
The Green Mode launched in Seattle on Wednesday and is expected to roll out in other parts of the country later. Riders just select Green Mode in their Lyft app, and only electric Lyfts will show up.
Lyft says that 80 percent of its drivers favor eco-friendly vehicle options, and consistently tell the service they want to increase their profits by lowering fuel costs.
Green Mode on Lyft app
Drivers will be able to rent electric ride-sharing cars through Lyft's Express Drive service. For drivers who choose electric cars, unlimited charging will be included in the weekly rental charge.
Electric cars will be available to drivers through Express Drive immediately in Seattle and Atlanta, and the service plans to roll out electric Lyfts more widely throughout 2019.
Some taxi and ride-sharing drivers have struggled with electric cars when they've found inadequate places to charge or had to spend too long off the road waiting for a charge.
From the standpoint of cities, though, converting taxis and ride-sharing cars to electric power could offer clean-air benefits that are too good to ignore.