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Green Mode? You can choose

Would you prefer a an electric taxi or one powered by gasoline? Now Lyft gives you the choice. Image credit: Lyft

Lyft, a ride-hailing company, is trying to differentiate its offer from Uber. It has focussed at the business market trying to become the ride-hailing company for companies by striking agreement with several of them in their US market to carry their employees.

Last week it has included in the app you use to hail a ride the possibility to ask for a ride with an electric car as a way to ride the wave of environment conscious consumer. This falls in their business oriented strategy, since more and more companies are pressured to adopt an environment savvy approach. Hence, giving the option to hail an electric car goes in that direction.

At the same time this is stimulating “drivers” to shift to an electric car to get more ride requests.

Clearly, it is a tiny market and it is not going to have a strong impact. However, it is nice to see that some companies are starting to consider friendliness to the environment as a potential selling point. I am pretty sure that this is but one initiative that will be soon flanked by several others. All together they are likely to accelerate the shift from gasoline to electric transportation. Of course, this is not a silver bullet for a better environment. To get there we need a concurrent shift from fossil fuel to non-polluting ways of generating electricity, and a change in the distribution network (smarter grid). It won’t come in a day, nor in a year and it is not going to be cheap, but in the long term it is surely worth the effort.

Creating a culture for a CO2 free energy is a very important step.  Kudos to Lyft!


About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.