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Why NYC Mayor Eric Adam’s Electric Car Mandate is an Exercise in Bureaucratic Buffoonery

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted February 3, 2023

I didn’t get a chance to check out Mayor Eric Adams’ most recent State of the City speech until earlier this week.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, and was really only looking for mentions of cannabis legalization, as the state is now implementing the first phases of its new cannabis legalization policy.  

But what stood out was not talk of weed, but instead, talk of a mandate that most folks expected me to be excited about.  The mandate?  That Uber (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) will be required to be zero emission by 2030.

While I look forward to seeing the end of internal combustion dominance in the personal transportation market, I’ve never been a fan of governments using force to get folks to comply.  Even in this case, where such a mandate will alleviate some of the environmental and national security burdens that come with our reliance on internal combustion vehicles.

Of course, the mandate does seem a bit superfluous, anyway, as both Uber and Lyft have already pledged to be 100% electric by 2030.  So why would the mayor make such an announcement?

Well I would guess that it’s about little more than a promise he can make without actually having to do anything, and of course, placate those who think the government should force us all into electric cars.  A process, by the way, that’s already happening, and without mandates from the government.

10 years ago, electric vehicle market share barely even registered as an accounting error. In 2022, electric vehicles accounted for just under 10% of global auto sales.

And according to Bloomberg, by 2030, more than half of all new cars sold in the U.S. will be electric... and this has nothing to do with new government mandates, as this analysis was done before any were put in place. 

Of course, few people know this, which is why Mayor Adams was able to get away with making those statements regarding those mandates for Uber and Lyft.  In any event, it will be interesting to see how Uber and Lyft transition their businesses to zero-emissions.  You can read more about their efforts here and here.

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