By 2030, California is requiring all Rideshare Vehicles to be EV

Are you ready?

Spring 2023

By 2030, California Is Requiring
All Rideshare Vehicles To Be Zero Emissions

Are you ready?

by Alvaro Bolainez, Vice President, RDU
Driver, Los Angeles

In 2018, California passed legislation, (SB 1014 [2018]) Clean Miles Standard (CMS) to require all ride-hailing vehicles be Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030. Right now, the CA Public Utility Commission (CPUC) is collaborating with multiple stakeholders to develop policies and structures to accomplish the zero emissions goal. Rideshare Drivers United Vice President Alvaro Bolainez has been advocating at the state level to ensure drivers have resources to make the transition.

Most people can agree that the goal to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG) will ultimately help protect the future of our kids and the planet. It’s a noble cause and future generations will (hopefully) thank us. 

But to get there in one piece, we must raise our voices as rideshare drivers, or most of the burden to meet zero emissions goals will fall directly on us - the economics of it could really hurt us.

The question is: What help do drivers need to go from gas to electric? You will be asked. Really! Read on.


When California first considered how to implement the law requiring all rideshare vehicles to be electric by 2030, they were thinking they would give incentives to the transportation network  companies (TNCs) to make these changes to their fleet.

Lawmakers didn’t recognize that the rideshare fleet is owned and maintained by tens of thousands of drivers, like us. 

The truth is, with virtually no regulations in place, any money given to the companies to incentivize an EV fleet would likely never be seen by drivers. And we would end up paying all costs related to conversion.


That's why RDU got involved. 

We knew that for drivers to be able to make the transition, we would need cash to purchase the vehicles and we would need charging stations convenient to our homes and where we work. We knew there was no way we could make the switch  without direct financial help and a sustainable infrastructure. Drivers will need more than existing tax incentives and other programs that help people buy electric vehicles. Drivers need on-the-spot relief, not a future promise of tax deductions. 


So we developed a set of principles that we introduced to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). (click on the image to see the full document)

As of today, and based on our work, the CPUC is proposing the creation of a Driver Assistance Fund (DAF), funded by a passenger tax, that would be available directly to rideshare drivers to fund conversion to EV cars - whether that be purchasing a vehicle, renting it, or helping with charging costs. The DAF will be administered by an outside vendor, NOT the TNCs.

No surprise, the TNCs are objecting to a lot of our proposals. But that’s to be expected. And the state has made a commitment to ensure that the burden of conversion does not fall to low and middle income people - like us drivers.


While there is still much work to be done, the fact that drivers may receive these incentives directly is a huge victory. There will continue to be opportunities for drivers to advocate for themselves in this process before the program is finalized. We will keep you informed so you can be involved at key hearings, and have your voices heard. 

Research is needed, though. For the government to make good policy, they have to know what barriers there are to all of us using EVs as our rideshare vehicle.

That’s why RDU is working with researchers at UC Berkeley to identify the needs of drivers  to ensure a smooth transition to electric vehicles. The research project will make recommendations to the state for best ways to help drivers convert. 

UC Berkeley is asking drivers to fill out a survey with questions pertaining to EV conversion - whether drivers have driven EVs or not, they want to know your opinions on what would help you make the conversion. UC Berkeley will also be conducting paid “focus groups” with drivers on these issues. Be on the lookout for emails from us on this subject. It’s not often we get paid for voicing our needs and concerns. 

At the end of the day, reducing carbon is becoming more and more important to clean up the air on this beautiful planet. Most of us are happy to cooperate and do our part. But without good policy, we could end up being forced out of work because we can’t afford to comply with the mandate. That's why our voices in this process are so important. 

So look for the survey information we will send you shortly. And stay safe out there!

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