Sustainability •

Make room Tesla, Ford, Toyota — Lime accepted into world-leading environmental program

Authored by Andrew Savage, VP of Sustainability and Calvin Thigpen, Director of Policy Research.

When it comes to carbon and transportation, no state policy is more rigorous and nation-leading than California.

The state’s climate leadership position stems from a long history of mitigating smog and air pollution challenges as well as its outsized share of the U.S. economy – if it were a country it would be the 5th largest economy in the world. In particular, California’s auto emissions standards provide a beacon for the rest of the nation, with more than a dozen other states following their lead for higher automobile standards.

Another groundbreaking climate program in California, which states like Oregon and Washington have emulated, is the Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) program. This program was designed to decrease the carbon intensity of California's transportation system, reduce petroleum dependency, and improve air quality. It has effectively promoted new technologies, from EVs to electric forklifts and includes companies like Tesla, Ford, and Toyota, but e-bikes and e-scooters haven’t been included in the program.

Until now.

When we saw the opportunity at Lime to create a new, industry-leading pathway under the rigorous California standard, we jumped at the opportunity.

After several years of work and diligence – and frankly improving our own business practices – we have made it through the application and validation process of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a new pathway, the first of its kind, for micromobility systems.

Lime e-bike and e-scooter trips taken by our California riders in cities big and small, like San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Tahoe, will now be eligible to earn carbon credits. These resources will be used to invest in our sustainability efforts and continue fueling our net zero transition – completing our shift to an all-electric operations fleet, strategically sourcing from lower carbon sources, and investing in a hardware team which designs our vehicles for longevity and reduced carbon.

Consistent with our practice of powering all Lime shared-vehicles and all Lime warehouses on renewable energy, and doing so as close to the market we serve as possible, we’ll be buying California-based renewable energy for this program. Further, 40% of our California operations vehicle fleet is now electric for managing our shared fleet.

We’ve come a long way as an industry in 6 years, and CARB’s acceptance of Lime’s shared e-bike and e-scooter programs are a validation of that. It also comes on the heels of strong evidence globally of the carbon benefits of shared micromobility. As we shared last year, a report by Fraunhofer ISI, a leading German research institute, found our e-scooter service has an average net impact savings of 26.4g of carbon dioxide for each kilometer ridden, and our e-bikes save 10.3g per kilometer when accounting for the entire life cycle impacts of our service and the alternative modes of travel our riders would have otherwise take. And more locally, a recent study from the University of California, Davis, showed that shared micromobility in Sacramento reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 0.8 miles per trip, by replacing enough car and ridehail trips to offset operational van travel.

Lime now plans to take its completed CARB pathway to established programs in Oregon and Washington. Meanwhile, other states, including a regional east coast initiative, Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P), seek to similarly reduce harmful air pollution and invest in clean mobility options across the jurisdictions.

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