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为见到蓝天,美国网约车行业决心改革

为见到蓝天,美国网约车行业决心改革

Danielle Abril 2021年06月28日
Uber和Lyft的网约车业务增长因为新冠疫情而放缓后(从新冠疫情爆发前每年亏损数百万美元,到业务几乎完全停止),两家公司被迫重组。它们重新考虑了在可持续发展方面的投入。

受新冠疫情影响,全球多个城市采取封城措施数月后,出现了一些令人意想不到的变化。在众多人口稠密的城区,居民称他们见到了多年未见的景象:天空湛蓝一片,没有常见的污染雾霾。对于网约车公司Uber和Lyft而言,大家的这种共同经历却让人瞬间清醒。Uber的全球可持续发展负责人亚当•格罗米斯说:“为什么我们要经历新冠疫情才能够看到蓝天?本质上而言,我们是一台高效的高科技机器,必须参与改变,留住更多的蓝天。”

多年来,网约车公司一直声称它们的服务可以满足“无车”人士的用车需求,有助于减少堵车、交通事故和废气排放。但随着这些服务的不断普及,它们反而加剧了许多城市的交通拥堵。2018年由网约车公司委托进行的一项研究显示,有时网约车的行驶里程甚至达到车辆总行驶里程的13%以上。由于绝大多数司机都使用燃油车,这意味着车辆行驶里程越长,温室气体排放量就越大。

但在Uber和Lyft的网约车业务增长因为新冠疫情而放缓后(从新冠疫情爆发前每年亏损数百万美元,到业务几乎完全停止),两家公司被迫重组。它们意识到,不仅要反思看待交通的方式,而且要重新考虑在可持续发展方面的投入。

因此,这两家公司重点研究多式联运策略:新冠疫情加剧了人们对自行车、滑板车和公共交通的依赖,它们已经在这些领域进行了投资,同时也宣布了采用电动汽车的远大目标。

去年6月,Lyft宣布计划到2030年完全采用电动汽车。Uber也在9月发布了类似的声明,计划到2030年,在美国、加拿大和欧洲100%采用电动汽车提供出行服务。

Lyft的可持续发展高级经理保罗•奥古斯丁称:“我们希望走出危机,变得更强、更好、更具可持续性,成为变革的催化剂。”

2020年6月,在圣迭戈国际机场(San Diego International Airport)拼车:Uber的全球可持续发展负责人亚当•格罗米斯说:“为什么我们要经历新冠疫情才能够看到蓝天?本质上而言,我们是一台高效的高科技机器,必须参与改变,留住更多的蓝天。”图片来源:Jarrod Valliere—San Diego Union-Tribune/Reuters

尽管网约车公司希望,对环境做出大胆的承诺能在交通运输业产生连锁反应,但它们也面临着巨大的挑战,而其中的一些挑战它们几乎无法应对。

例如,由于政策障碍,鼓励司机改用电动汽车变得更难。美国城市现有的基础设施需要进行重大升级,为使用电动汽车的商业司机提供足够的充电站。此外,网约车公司还要为司机购买电动汽车提供补贴,并解决人们对电动汽车的普遍担忧(阻碍购买的因素),比如在到达目的地之前,可能会出现电力耗尽的情况。

乔恩•克罗斯尼克是斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的教授、社会心理学家,去年与人合著了一份关于电动汽车的调查报告。他说:“令人惊讶的是,人们似乎对电动汽车不大感冒。如果Uber和Lyft想鼓励它们的司机全部转用电动汽车,它们就必须克服所有这些挑战。”

Uber和Lyft设定的电动汽车目标可能是网约车公司可持续发展计划中最具挑战性的部分,因为利益相关者的数量对于它们能否按时完成目标至关重要。因此,它们正在与城市和州的政策制定者合作,为想购买电动汽车的司机推出奖励措施,并与汽车制造商和租赁服务公司合作,让司机有更多机会使用电动汽车。

奥古斯丁说:“我们知道单靠自己无法达成目标,需要行业、政府和非营利机构采取集体行动,才能够实现这一目标。”

去年9月,Uber承诺投入8亿美元,帮助司机换用电动汽车。这笔资金包括对使用混合动力汽车和电动汽车的司机,每趟行程额外支付50美分,对使用纯电动汽车的司机,每趟行程额外支付1.5美元的费用。预计这笔资金还可以让司机在充电站充电时享受折扣,并在租赁或购买电动汽车时享受优惠价。购买电动汽车的费用约为4万美元。

今年,Uber还将电动汽车和混合动力汽车出行服务(简称“绿色Uber”)扩大到全美1400多个城镇,覆盖全球1500个城市。每完成一次Uber绿色出行,Uber就向司机提供三倍于Uber奖励计划的积分,可用于兑换免费的星巴克(Starbucks)咖啡和优食订餐(UberEats)。

格罗米斯说:“如今,电动汽车对大多数司机而言毫无意义,也是他们不换车的原因所在。我们认为,电动汽车是我们必须提出的基本价值主张。”

与此同时,Lyft一直在为面向司机推出的Express Drive汽车租赁项目中,提供更多的电动汽车。到目前为止,该项目在西雅图、丹佛和亚特兰大提供电动汽车供司机选择。Lyft还与科罗拉多州、马里兰州和俄勒冈州等州的政策制定者合作,帮助推动电动汽车的使用。Lyft认为加利福尼亚州和马萨诸塞州颁布的新规定,是经过一些商讨后在政策上取得的胜利。

洛杉矶与Lyft和Uber的商讨始于2018年年底,当时洛杉矶成立了一个工作组,专门负责电动汽车的问题。它们一直在讨论以何种方式,一起鼓励更多的司机使用电动汽车。其中一个目标是扩大加州清洁汽车补贴项目的惠及面,覆盖商用车队。该项目为租赁或购买电动汽车提供高达7000美元的补贴。市政府表示,Lyft和Uber在大部分工作中都相互合作。

与此同时,两家公司都在扩大与市县交通部门的合作,旨在通过提供特价优惠或详细说明在网约车应用程序中如何连接公共交通服务,增加火车和公交车的乘客数量。它们还购买了更多的电动自行车和滑板车,提供短途的微出行服务。

Uber和Lyft的新目标表明,它们认真对待自己设定的可持续发展目标,尽管变革并不完全取决于它们,但它们也不会仅凭自己设定的目标来承担责任。政策制定者正在推出新的要求,强制推动电动车的使用。

例如,由加利福尼亚州的参议员南希•斯金纳起草,并于2018年通过的参议院第1014号法案,要求网约车公司增加司机使用的电动汽车数量,并减少每英里的温室气体排放量(Uber和Lyft司机通常要在乘客出行前后行驶数英里)。根据该法案,加州空气资源委员会(California Air Resources Board)在今年5月出台了一项法规,要求两家公司到2030年“实现温室气体零排放,并确保90%的车辆行驶里程为全电动行驶里程”,与Uber和Lyft设定的2030年电动汽车目标同步。

加州大学伯克利分校(University of California, Berkeley)的交通可持续性研究中心(Transportation Sustainability Research Center)的联合主任苏珊•沙欣说:“参议院第1014号法案通过之前,就在网约车公司进行了交流。但现在它们也必须这么做。”

格罗米斯说,影响司机购买电动汽车的三大障碍是成本、汽车质量(包括行驶距离和后备箱空间)以及充电基础设施不足。这与斯坦福大学克罗斯尼克教授与人合著的调查报告的结果一致,调查显示78%的美国人认为找到充电站有一定的难度,而29%的人认为用电动车比燃油车更贵。

但是加州大学伯克利分校法律、能源和环境中心气候项目(Climate Program at UC–Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment)的主任伊桑•埃尔金德表示,电动汽车的技术和教育日新月异。他指出,在过去10年里,大多数电动汽车使用的锂离子电池价格已经下降了近90%。而且它们的价格只会越来越低,从而降低电动车的成本。

他说:“很快,就经济性而言,可以毫不犹豫地选择电动车。”

他还表示,鉴于Uber和Lyft的整体进展,它们设定的2030年电动汽车目标是“可行的”。因为企业通常只有在知道目标能够实现的情况下,才会公布这样的远大目标。

但这两家公司表示,这些目标并非信口开河。新冠疫情迫使高管们全力以赴阻止业务下滑。但这也让它们有机会放慢脚步,仔细审视自己的所作所为,也可能是无所作为。

Lyft的奥古斯丁说:“这正是我们放慢脚步,进行反思的最佳时机。我们知道疫情爆发影响了公司业务,但我们选择的道路是正确的。”(财富中文网)

译者:徐亮

受新冠疫情影响,全球多个城市采取封城措施数月后,出现了一些令人意想不到的变化。在众多人口稠密的城区,居民称他们见到了多年未见的景象:天空湛蓝一片,没有常见的污染雾霾。对于网约车公司Uber和Lyft而言,大家的这种共同经历却让人瞬间清醒。Uber的全球可持续发展负责人亚当•格罗米斯说:“为什么我们要经历新冠疫情才能够看到蓝天?本质上而言,我们是一台高效的高科技机器,必须参与改变,留住更多的蓝天。”

多年来,网约车公司一直声称它们的服务可以满足“无车”人士的用车需求,有助于减少堵车、交通事故和废气排放。但随着这些服务的不断普及,它们反而加剧了许多城市的交通拥堵。2018年由网约车公司委托进行的一项研究显示,有时网约车的行驶里程甚至达到车辆总行驶里程的13%以上。由于绝大多数司机都使用燃油车,这意味着车辆行驶里程越长,温室气体排放量就越大。

但在Uber和Lyft的网约车业务增长因为新冠疫情而放缓后(从新冠疫情爆发前每年亏损数百万美元,到业务几乎完全停止),两家公司被迫重组。它们意识到,不仅要反思看待交通的方式,而且要重新考虑在可持续发展方面的投入。

因此,这两家公司重点研究多式联运策略:新冠疫情加剧了人们对自行车、滑板车和公共交通的依赖,它们已经在这些领域进行了投资,同时也宣布了采用电动汽车的远大目标。

去年6月,Lyft宣布计划到2030年完全采用电动汽车。Uber也在9月发布了类似的声明,计划到2030年,在美国、加拿大和欧洲100%采用电动汽车提供出行服务。

Lyft的可持续发展高级经理保罗•奥古斯丁称:“我们希望走出危机,变得更强、更好、更具可持续性,成为变革的催化剂。”

尽管网约车公司希望,对环境做出大胆的承诺能在交通运输业产生连锁反应,但它们也面临着巨大的挑战,而其中的一些挑战它们几乎无法应对。

例如,由于政策障碍,鼓励司机改用电动汽车变得更难。美国城市现有的基础设施需要进行重大升级,为使用电动汽车的商业司机提供足够的充电站。此外,网约车公司还要为司机购买电动汽车提供补贴,并解决人们对电动汽车的普遍担忧(阻碍购买的因素),比如在到达目的地之前,可能会出现电力耗尽的情况。

乔恩•克罗斯尼克是斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的教授、社会心理学家,去年与人合著了一份关于电动汽车的调查报告。他说:“令人惊讶的是,人们似乎对电动汽车不大感冒。如果Uber和Lyft想鼓励它们的司机全部转用电动汽车,它们就必须克服所有这些挑战。”

Uber和Lyft设定的电动汽车目标可能是网约车公司可持续发展计划中最具挑战性的部分,因为利益相关者的数量对于它们能否按时完成目标至关重要。因此,它们正在与城市和州的政策制定者合作,为想购买电动汽车的司机推出奖励措施,并与汽车制造商和租赁服务公司合作,让司机有更多机会使用电动汽车。

奥古斯丁说:“我们知道单靠自己无法达成目标,需要行业、政府和非营利机构采取集体行动,才能够实现这一目标。”

去年9月,Uber承诺投入8亿美元,帮助司机换用电动汽车。这笔资金包括对使用混合动力汽车和电动汽车的司机,每趟行程额外支付50美分,对使用纯电动汽车的司机,每趟行程额外支付1.5美元的费用。预计这笔资金还可以让司机在充电站充电时享受折扣,并在租赁或购买电动汽车时享受优惠价。购买电动汽车的费用约为4万美元。

今年,Uber还将电动汽车和混合动力汽车出行服务(简称“绿色Uber”)扩大到全美1400多个城镇,覆盖全球1500个城市。每完成一次Uber绿色出行,Uber就向司机提供三倍于Uber奖励计划的积分,可用于兑换免费的星巴克(Starbucks)咖啡和优食订餐(UberEats)。

格罗米斯说:“如今,电动汽车对大多数司机而言毫无意义,也是他们不换车的原因所在。我们认为,电动汽车是我们必须提出的基本价值主张。”

与此同时,Lyft一直在为面向司机推出的Express Drive汽车租赁项目中,提供更多的电动汽车。到目前为止,该项目在西雅图、丹佛和亚特兰大提供电动汽车供司机选择。Lyft还与科罗拉多州、马里兰州和俄勒冈州等州的政策制定者合作,帮助推动电动汽车的使用。Lyft认为加利福尼亚州和马萨诸塞州颁布的新规定,是经过一些商讨后在政策上取得的胜利。

洛杉矶与Lyft和Uber的商讨始于2018年年底,当时洛杉矶成立了一个工作组,专门负责电动汽车的问题。它们一直在讨论以何种方式,一起鼓励更多的司机使用电动汽车。其中一个目标是扩大加州清洁汽车补贴项目的惠及面,覆盖商用车队。该项目为租赁或购买电动汽车提供高达7000美元的补贴。市政府表示,Lyft和Uber在大部分工作中都相互合作。

与此同时,两家公司都在扩大与市县交通部门的合作,旨在通过提供特价优惠或详细说明在网约车应用程序中如何连接公共交通服务,增加火车和公交车的乘客数量。它们还购买了更多的电动自行车和滑板车,提供短途的微出行服务。

Uber和Lyft的新目标表明,它们认真对待自己设定的可持续发展目标,尽管变革并不完全取决于它们,但它们也不会仅凭自己设定的目标来承担责任。政策制定者正在推出新的要求,强制推动电动车的使用。

例如,由加利福尼亚州的参议员南希•斯金纳起草,并于2018年通过的参议院第1014号法案,要求网约车公司增加司机使用的电动汽车数量,并减少每英里的温室气体排放量(Uber和Lyft司机通常要在乘客出行前后行驶数英里)。根据该法案,加州空气资源委员会(California Air Resources Board)在今年5月出台了一项法规,要求两家公司到2030年“实现温室气体零排放,并确保90%的车辆行驶里程为全电动行驶里程”,与Uber和Lyft设定的2030年电动汽车目标同步。

加州大学伯克利分校(University of California, Berkeley)的交通可持续性研究中心(Transportation Sustainability Research Center)的联合主任苏珊•沙欣说:“参议院第1014号法案通过之前,就在网约车公司进行了交流。但现在它们也必须这么做。”

格罗米斯说,影响司机购买电动汽车的三大障碍是成本、汽车质量(包括行驶距离和后备箱空间)以及充电基础设施不足。这与斯坦福大学克罗斯尼克教授与人合著的调查报告的结果一致,调查显示78%的美国人认为找到充电站有一定的难度,而29%的人认为用电动车比燃油车更贵。

但是加州大学伯克利分校法律、能源和环境中心气候项目(Climate Program at UC–Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment)的主任伊桑•埃尔金德表示,电动汽车的技术和教育日新月异。他指出,在过去10年里,大多数电动汽车使用的锂离子电池价格已经下降了近90%。而且它们的价格只会越来越低,从而降低电动车的成本。

他说:“很快,就经济性而言,可以毫不犹豫地选择电动车。”

他还表示,鉴于Uber和Lyft的整体进展,它们设定的2030年电动汽车目标是“可行的”。因为企业通常只有在知道目标能够实现的情况下,才会公布这样的远大目标。

但这两家公司表示,这些目标并非信口开河。新冠疫情迫使高管们全力以赴阻止业务下滑。但这也让它们有机会放慢脚步,仔细审视自己的所作所为,也可能是无所作为。

Lyft的奥古斯丁说:“这正是我们放慢脚步,进行反思的最佳时机。我们知道疫情爆发影响了公司业务,但我们选择的道路是正确的。”(财富中文网)

译者:徐亮

Months after the coronavirus pandemic had shut down cities across the world, something amazing started to happen. Residents in various densely populated urban areas reported a sight they hadn’t seen in years: a bright, blue sky without the typical pollution haze. For ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, this shared experience of many served as a moment of clarity. “Why did it take a pandemic for us to see this?” said Adam Gromis, Uber’s global head of sustainability. “We’re fundamentally an efficiency-driving tech machine. We have to be part of that movement to enable more blue skies.”

The ride-hailing companies have for years touted their services as alternatives to car ownership that could help reduce traffic, car accidents, and emissions. But as the popularity of the services grew, the companies instead worsened congestion in many cities, in some cases accounting for more than 13% of vehicle miles traveled, according to a 2018 study commissioned by the companies. With a large majority of drivers using gas-powered cars, more vehicle miles traveled means more greenhouse gas emissions.

But after the pandemic slowed Uber’s and Lyft’s ride-hailing businesses—which were losing millions of dollars a year pre-pandemic—to nearly a complete stop, the companies were forced to regroup. They realized they needed not only to rethink how they viewed transportation but to reconsider their sustainability efforts.

As a result, the two companies doubled down on their multimodal transportation strategies: The pandemic had fueled people’s dependence on bikes, scooters, and public transit—all areas in which they were already investing. But they also announced lofty electric vehicle adoption goals.

In June of last year, Lyft announced plans to be fully dependent on electric vehicles by 2030. Uber rolled out a similar announcement in September, saying it aims to offer 100% of rides in the U.S., Canada, and Europe in electric vehicles by 2030.

“We wanted to emerge from the crisis stronger, better, and more sustainable,” said Paul Augustine, senior manager of sustainability at Lyft. “We wanted to be a catalyst for change.”

Though the companies hope making a bold commitment to the environment will create a ripple effect in the transportation industry, they also face massive challenges—some of which the companies will have little to no control over.

For example, policy hurdles make it harder to incentivize drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles. Current infrastructure in cities across the U.S. would need a major upgrade to provide enough charging stations for commercial drivers using EVs. And the companies will have to incentivize drivers to offset the cost of purchasing EVs as well as battle some common fears—like the prospect of running out of power before reaching a destination—that keep people from buying.

“It looks like people are surprisingly unenthusiastic about EVs,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor and social psychologist who coauthored a survey on EVs last year. “If Uber and Lyft want to encourage their drivers to move over to all EVs, they have to overcome all of [these challenges].”

Uber’s and Lyft’s electric vehicle goals may be the most challenging piece of the ride-hailing companies’ sustainability plans because of the number of stakeholders critical to helping them meet the timeline. So the two are working with city and state policymakers, rolling out financial incentives for drivers who want to get into an EV, and partnering with automakers and rental services to give drivers more access to EVs.

“We know we can’t reach this on our own,” Augustine said. “It’s going to take collective action from the industry, government, and nonprofits to make this reachable.”

In September, Uber committed $800 million to help drivers transition to EVs. Part of that money includes paying an additional 50¢ per ride to drivers who use hybrids and EVs and $1.50 to those who use a battery EV. The funds are also expected to enable driver discounts at charging stations as well as price cuts in the rental or purchase of EVs, which cost around $40,000 to buy.

Uber also expanded its EV and hybrid ride option, called Uber Green, to more than 1,400 U.S. cities and towns this year, bringing its global total to 1,500 cities. And the company is offering drivers three times the amount of Uber Rewards points, which can be exchanged for things like free Starbucks coffee and UberEats orders, for every Uber Green trip completed.

“EVs don’t make sense to most drivers today, and that’s why they don’t switch,” Gromis said. “We recognize it’s fundamentally a value proposition we have to make.”

Lyft, meanwhile, has been expanding the availability of EVs within its car-rental program for drivers called Express Drive. So far, the program offers EV options in Seattle, Denver, and Atlanta. It’s also working with policymakers in states including Colorado, Maryland, and Oregon to help advance the adoption of EVs. The company says it considers new mandates in California and Massachusetts as policy victories that came out of some of these discussions.

In Los Angeles, discussions with Lyft and Uber began in late 2018, when the city created a working group focused on the issue of EVs. Together, they have been discussing how they can collectively encourage more drivers to use EVs. One goal is to expand the benefits of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, which offers up to $7,000 in rebates on the lease or purchase of an EV, to include commercial fleets. The city said the companies have been collaborative in much of its work.

Meanwhile, both companies are expanding their partnerships with city and county transit agencies, aiming to increase the number of passengers on trains and buses by offering special deals or detailing how to connect to the services within their ride-hailing apps. They are also investing in more electric bikes and scooters, to offer micro-mobility options for shorter trips.

Uber’s and Lyft’s new goals may suggest the companies are serious enough about their sustainability targets, even if changes aren’t entirely dependent on them. But the companies won’t be held accountable solely by their own goals. Policymakers are rolling out new requirements that would make some of their progress mandatory.

For example, Senate Bill 1014, authored by California State Sen. Nancy Skinner and passed in 2018, will require ride-hailing companies to increase the number of EVs its drivers use as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions per mile traveled (Uber and Lyft drivers often drive for miles before and after a passenger trip is completed). In accordance with the bill, in May the California Air Resources Board announced a regulation that requires the companies to “achieve a level of zero greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure 90% of their vehicle miles are fully electric” by 2030—the same year tied to Uber’s and Lyft’s EV goals.

“These conversations were happening [at the ride-hailing companies] prior to SB 1014,” said Susan Shaheen, codirector of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. “But also now they have to do it.”

Gromis said the top three barriers that keep drivers from purchasing an EV are the cost, the quality of the vehicle (including the travel distance range and trunk space), and sparse charging infrastructure. That aligns with results from the survey coauthored by Stanford’s Krosnick showing that 78% of Americans think finding a charging station is at least moderately difficult, while 29% believe that it’s costlier to maintain an EV than a gas-powered car.

But Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at UC–Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment, said that EV technology and education are changing every day. Already the price of lithium-ion batteries, which power most EVs, has dropped almost 90% in the past 10 years, he noted. And they are expected to only get cheaper, lowering the cost of the vehicle.

“We’re really close to it being economically the no-brainer option,” he said.

He also said Uber’s and Lyft’s 2030 EV goals are “feasible,” given their progress overall, and noted that companies often make big goals public like this only when they know they can reach them.

But the companies say the goals are much more than lip service. The pandemic forced executives to focus on keeping the wheels from falling off their businesses. But it also gave them the chance to slow down and take a closer look at what they were and perhaps weren’t doing.

“It was a good time to take a beat and reflect,” Lyft’s Augustine said. “We knew this pandemic was happening and impacting our business, but we knew this commitment was the right thing to do.”

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