Uber is an overtly political company that has inserted itself into many contentious issues, seemingly always on their own craven side or the far left’s. And Lyft is just as bad! So based on Ace‘s oft-repeated maxim that COrpoRAtIonS ArE OUR fRIenDs! we should cheer on the lunatic regulators of our very own Venezuela-By-The-Sea.
The California Air Resources Board just unanimously voted to mandate that Uber and Lyft rides must almost entirely switch to electric vehicles. “California’s clean air regulator on Thursday adopted rules to mandate that nearly all trips on Uber and Lyft ride-hailing platforms have to be in electric vehicles over the next few years, the first such regulation by a U.S. state,” Fox Business reports. “The rules… mandate that EVs account for 90% of ride-hailing vehicle miles traveled by 2030.” Make no mistake: This is a drastic switch. Right now, only a tiny fraction of cars on the road are powered by electricity. And electric vehicles, despite enormous government subsidies, continue to be significantly more expensive than the typical vehicle.
This is a catastrophe in the making, although in California it has to compete with many other profoundly stupid and anti-progress initiatives. Being an Uber or Lyft driver is a reasonably convenient way of making some extra cash if one is a student or has another part-time job. The hours are obviously completely up to the driver, and let’s face it, the skill set required is pretty basic. And most of all, the barriers to entry are low…nobody needs a fancy new car to be a driver. It just has to be in good repair, have four doors…and that’s pretty much it!
The electric Mini Cooper seems to be the least expensive electric vehicle, and it’s about $30k. There is a $7,500 tax credit, but that still keeps it north of $23k, and that is at least triple what a reasonable used car costs today.
So who does this hurt? Everyone. People who need the job and don’t have the funds for an EV will be shit out of luck. Their customers will face higher costs for the rides and some will move to alternatives like driving home from the bar at 2:00am and killing themselves and the family of five coming back from a camping trip.
Who does it help? Sure, the electric car companies will sell a few extra cars, but the market is small, and the few potential Uber drivers won’t make much of a dent in their bottom lines. But that’s about it!
What it most definitely does is slow the commerce of California. It is incremental, but there are hundreds of these sorts of misguided regulations already on the books in the Golden State, which is rapidly turning into a dystopian moonscape with pockets of fabulous wealth surrounded by squalor.
The question is: does California’s failure help or hurt the eventual collapse of America that some predict, and will it hasten its reemergence as a post-constitutional dictatorship/monarchy/feudal country?