New York City is undergoing somewhat of a rideshare revolution. In a span of a few months, the number of battery-electric rideshare vehicles on the city’s streets has quintupled. About a year ago, city dwellers were riding in about 2,000 electric Uber and Lyft cars, but now that number has soared to over 10,000 BEVs, InsideEVs learned through Revel and verified through NYC Open Data.

Almost 10% percent of the total fleet, including the Uber and Lyft cars, is now electric. Hybrids comprise 14% of the fleet, while the rest are gas cars. This influx of thousands of additional cars further exacerbates the already congested streets of the city. And even though there are plans to build out dozens of additional chargers, the current charging network is likely to become overburdened.

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New York City has more electric Uber and Lyft cars than ever before

NYC Mayor Eric Adams wants to convert the city's Uber, Lyft, and rideshare fleet to all-electric by 2030. To accelerate this program, the city has lifted the cap on new for-hire vehicles and mandated them to be electric only. Drivers are embracing EVs, but are getting inadequate charging support in return.

Commenting on this achievement, David Do, the commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, told InsideEVs, “In just four months, this administration has catapulted ahead two years towards our goals for a cleaner, more sustainable rideshare fleet.”

He added, “We’re now laser-focused on supporting our EV drivers and meeting with charging providers to bring in more plugs. The charging industry is extremely interested in our new, reliable market of hardworking EV drivers, and I’m confident that we’ll soon be seeing a host of new charging options to keep us moving down the green highway.”

In October 2023, the City of New York passed its Green Rides Initiative, mandating all new for-hire vehicles (FHV) to be electric. This led to a sudden surge in FHV license applications, with NYC TLC's daily intake soaring from 150 to 2,000 applications overnight, a TLC spokesperson told InsideEVs last month.

The New York Taxi Worker’s Alliance has brought a lawsuit against the city, seeking to reinstate the cap on FHVs. A Manhattan Supreme Court judge has since intervened, ordering the TLC to temporarily stop accepting further applications.

So far, the TLC has approved about 7,500 applications, and some 2,500 are still outstanding, a Revel spokesperson told InsideEVs. Thousands of drivers seem to have jumped at the Tesla Model Y and Model 3, but even models like the Toyota bZ4x have gained traction in the process thanks to the Japanese brand’s reputation for reliability and longevity.

As a result, activity at charging stations across the city has surged. Before the TLC began approving FHV licenses, charging activity at Revel stations averaged 30-40 sessions per day. This figure has since skyrocketed to 300-400 sessions daily—a ten-fold increase. The uptick has also resulted in long lines and painful wait times at freestanding Tesla Superchargers in the city.

"The Green Rides Initiative is exactly what New York needed to jumpstart its EV charging private sector. Across our three sites, each the largest public fast charging hub in the city, Revel has seen a tenfold increase in public charging in the last couple of months since these thousands of new electric rideshares have come into operation,” Robert Familiar, the senior communications manager at Revel told InsideEvs.

“This is incredibly encouraging as we work to build out more public sites soon—whereas before we relied on our own all-EV fleet to provide baseline utilization, now we have a guarantee that external demand is there and it's only getting stronger," he added.

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