If San Franciscans want more electric vehicles on city streets, there is a small and important action they can take this year: offer ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft an incentive to electrify their rides.
Ride-hailing companies already are coming under public scrutiny because they are increasing congestion and pollution. Last year, the legislature passed a law (AB 1184-Ting) that would allow San Francisco to impose fees on rides to help reduce congestion. Under the law, the city can add a small fee of up to 3.25 percent to single rides. Customers who share rides, thereby causing less congestion and pollution, could be charged a 1.5 percent fee. The law allows but doesn’t require, the city to set a lower fee for rides provided by zero-emission vehicles, namely battery or fuel cell electric vehicles.