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How Uber and Lyft Are Losing the Race to the Electric Future

The ride-hailing giants are lagging behind low levels of electric vehicle use in the U.S. Can they hope to meet aggressive climate goals?

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Uber rolled out an option in 2019 for passengers in Krakow, Poland, to hail an electric vehicle, an option that still isn’t available in most U.S. markets.

Uber rolled out an option in 2019 for passengers in Krakow, Poland, to hail an electric vehicle, an option that still isn’t available in most U.S. markets.

Photographer: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Getty Images


When Curt Kinder bought a new electric Chevy Bolt three years ago, he wanted an excuse to drive it as often as possible. “It’s so smooth, quiet and agile,” he said.

So the 55-year-old electrical engineer and business owner in Jacksonville, Florida, signed up to become one of the first electric vehicle owners to drive for Uber and Lyft. Like any curious engineer, Kinder kept a meticulous spreadsheet of income and expenses for all of his 6,000-plus ride-hailing trips. He quickly realized an important truth: It's more profitable to operate an EV than a gas-powered car.