Lyft-backed plan to fund electric cars in California • TechCrunch

California voters shot down a plan to make electric vehicles more affordable for some residents, dealt a blow to both Lyft and the EV industry.

Theorem 30 would have taxed residents earning more than $2 million a year to subsidize electric cars and public charging stations, as well as funded wildfire prevention programs. Even with only 41% of the vote so far, defeat was obvious. From Wednesday afternoon, some 59% of voters rejected the proposal.

The measure’s defeat comes as several states are poised to ban gas-powered vehicles in urgent efforts to cut spending climate pollution.

Prop 30’s primary funder was Lyft, who paid more than € $48 million to support future wealth tax. The measure’s opponents — including Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom and venture capitalists Michael Moritz and Ron Conway — cast Prop 30 as a “Lyft grift.” call it a “plan to further fill the pockets of Silicon Valley billionaires.”

Still, Prop 30 didn’t include ride-share company carve-outs. It would have raised tens of billions of dollars to push the price of electric cars for individuals, including drivers for ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber. Both companies have committed to going electric by 2030, and this move could have helped them meet their targets.

Earlier this year, California required that: almost all shared cars going electric by 2030, as part of a wider effort to gradually push combustion engines off the road. Although the state already controls some programs to cover the cost of electric driving, Prop 30 could have provided further assistance. Without it, ride app companies could be forced to somehow raise additional funds to incentivize their drivers to switch so that they comply with the state’s mandate.

While more affordable options are gradually entering the market, EVs are generally still in short supply, and most are too expensive front front most people. This is not good for the climate, as light vehicles such as cars and SUVs account for more than half of transportation-related emissions in the US, according to the EPA.

On the NASDAQ, Lyft closed at $10.64, down nearly 2.4% from the previous day. The drop pales in comparison to the nosedive Lyft shareholders suffered Monday after they announced hefty losses in its latest quarterly report. Earlier this month, Lyft laid off 683 employees, or about 13% of its workforce.

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