Charging blunts benefits of electric ride-hailing, study finds

Replacing all current ride-hailing vehicles with EVs would eliminate tailpipe emissions, but the overall benefit to society would still be slight—just 3% per trip on average—according to the study, which was published June 1 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

That’s due to other social costs associated with ride-hailing beyond emissions, including “increased traffic congestion, collision risk and noise due to Uber and Lyft drivers traveling to and from fast-charging stations,” a University of Michigan press release announcing the study results said…

This study reads essentially like a different version of the “deadhead miles” that are already an issue for ride-hailing, in which drivers still need to travel to the start of trips and from the end of them. It also appears to build on findings from Carnegie Mellon University researchers in 2021 suggesting that Uber and Lyft use leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion versus driving yourself.