Lyft leaving ridesharing, and the future of car ownership

What’s next for clean, automated, efficient, and safe transportation? Well, that boils down to a case-by-case basis. For example, the No. 2 in America ride-hailing company is getting out of the ridesharing business.

Lyft Inc. announced it’s officially ending shared rides, according to the company’s new CEO David Risher. Customers are tired of being taken away from their intended route and putting in extra time on the ride, Bloomberg reported.

Market leader Uber is going to stay in the shared ride service. The company is still moving forward with reviving its carpool service, now dubbed UberX Share. The company today rolled out its Uber Carpool ride (available during peak commute hours) option where you can lock in your price; and you can expect to pay 35% less than you’d pay for UberX, according to the company. It pairs customers up with riders going in the same direction.

Lyft would like to make the airport ride pickup easier for customers. Customers can now hail a ride the moment they land, as opposed to putting in the request when arriving and moving over to the pickup area, Risher said.

The May 2023 edition of Green Auto Market’s Market Intel explored this question of what’s happening in mobility in the context of what’s going with car ownership. While car ownership and new and used vehicle sales have stayed high in the US, there are several indicators out there showing that a deep downward shift is well on its way. This is being driven by economic factors, concerns over traffic congestion and safety, air pollution, and climate change rules.

For many urban transportation planners, taking a multi-facedted approach to the future of mobility is becoming a necessity. Let’s take a look at a few figures:

  1. The average annual cost of ownership in the US has gone up to $9,282 per year recently, a five percent increase over the the previous year. Where does all that come from? Fuel costs, maintenance, repair, and tires costs went up about 10% with vehicle registration and tax fees also seeing their way up.
  2. Car prices have gone up significantly — Kelley Blue Book reporting that the biggest price increases last year was for full-size cars (up 12.6 percent to $48,314). Luxury cars and vans also had significant price increases. It’s part of why Tesla has lowered its MSRPs in recent months — to increase sales share and to adapt to car buyers facing significant price increases on several fronts.
  3. The charging infrastructure needs some work. That’s a recurring theme for electric vehicle owners of all types — from fleet operators to veteran EV owners. They’d like to see more consistency and availability for fast charging, and to see consistent rate prices for recharging away from home or work.
  4. The question of when autonomous vehicles will become available beyond the test phase is still a mystery. Last year, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) gave permits to self-driving units of General Motors and Alphabet Inc to allow for passenger service in autonomous vehicles with safety drivers present for the Cruise and Waymo divisions, respectively. The Phoenix market is seeing a lot of activity here. Waymo One and May Mobility are providing services to small groups of customers, and are poised to expand their businesses to other markets when the regulatory environment clears.
  5. However, nearly two thirds of Americans are still concerned about the safety of taking self-driving vehicles. Roughly six-in-ten adults (63%) say they would not want to ride in a driverless passenger vehicle if they had the opportunity, while a much smaller share (37%) say they would want to do this. According to Pew Research. Makers of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology will have to work together to get Americans over the hump — such as participating in test rides, and finding ways to use AVs for practical purposes — such as shuttle rides on college campuses and senior living facilities, and other practical applications.

Vehicles — sales trends, launches, incentives and funding, regulatory, vehicle manufacturer news

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) was present last week at ACT Expo to share about, among several items, its Run on Less – Electric DEPOT program. This event will feature eight fleet depots with 15+ Class 3 to 8 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) operating in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. These eight fleets have been chosen for the research project. The end goal is to provide more clarity on fleet scaling considerations such as charging infrastructure, engagement with utilities, total cost of ownership management, driver and technician training, charge management, and more. It will also highlight effective partnerships between fleets, OEMs, and utilities — with a deep dive look into utilities, charging equipment, and construction.

Sustainability and carbon reduction — setting and hitting targets, studies, regulatory, global alliances, sustainability drives

“Hertz Electrifies Orlando” Hertz and the city of Orlando have launched Hertz Electrifies Orlando, a public private partnership aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and expanding the environmental and economic benefits of electrification across Orlando. Hertz will be adding up to 6,000 rental EVs to its existing fleet in Orlando, for availability to leisure and business customers as well as rideshare drivers.

To help expand charging, Hertz will support the installation of up to 50 public fast chargers across the Greater Orlando area, in partnership with bp (BP plc oil company). In addition, Hertz is working with Orange Technical College (OTC) to help bring EV tools and training to its auto servicing students. Hertz is also making summer jobs available through the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Hertz Electrifies Orlando aligns with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2030 Electric Mobility Roadmap goals to accelerate EV adoption in multiple transportation sectors and develop a robust charging ecosystem to reduce emissions that harm public health, bolster climate change resilience, and increase access and affordability for all communities.

SVT Fleet Solutions (SVT) has restructured the company to focus on comprehensive fleet solutions on pressing issues — from regulatory compliance and funding support to zero-emission vehicle procurement and operations. SVT President Don Kelley sees taking an end-to-end fleet management approach even more necessary with actions being taken such as California’s recently passed Advanced Clean Fleets Rule.

The company’s executive team is bringing together resources for fleet management clientele including regulatory compliance support; a fleet sustainability strategy to help clients hit emission targets cost effectively; covering the spectrum for vehicle funding and financing including identifying and securing grant funding and incentives to reduce total cost of ownership for low-and-zero emission vehicles; and analyzing diverse procurment options from light-to-heavy vehicles that include battery-electric, propane autogas, natural gas, and fuel-cell powered cars, vans, and trucks.

Other services offered include comprehensive uptime support that taps into predictive analytics; centralized fleet administration support that will also assist clients in driver recruitment and retention strategies; and managing vehicle remarketing for vehicles reaching end of useful lives or fixed terms.

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