The ride-share company is electrifying its fleet as part of its plan to be emission-free in the U.S., Europe and Canada by 2040.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the top speeds many vehicles are capable of are not necessary for city driving and ride-sharing, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. Designing vehicles tailored to ride-hailing drivers would reduce the cost, Khosrowshahi said.
Cars better suited for ride-sharing and city use would have lower top speeds and seats for passengers that face each other, Khosrowshahi said.
Uber is also considering smaller delivery vehicles, with two to three wheels and trunk space, the report said. These vehicles could get through traffic easier and leave behind smaller environmental and traffic footprints, Khosrowshahi said.
The California Air Resources Board's Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program required ride-share companies in the state to begin electrifying their fleets this year. Companies must ensure that 90 percent of miles traveled are electric by 2030.
Due to deadheading — miles driven with no passengers in the car — and idling while waiting for riders, a ride-hailing trip creates roughly 69 percent more carbon emissions than the trip it replaces, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
An electric ride-hailing trip can cut the emissions of a private car trip in about half, the group said.