The programme is funded by the grant awarded to Columbus by the Paul G Allen Philanthropies as the winner of the Smart City Challenge
Smart Columbus is offering $90,000 in rebates to help central Ohio-based ride-share drivers and fleet managers to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs).
The Smart Columbus Transportation Service Provider Battery Electric Vehicle Rebate Programme, which was initially open only to taxi companies, is now open to all transportation service providers, both companies and individual drivers who accept fares through ride-hailing apps.
The programme is funded by the $10 million grant awarded to Columbus by the Paul G Allen Philanthropies as the winner of the Smart City Challenge.
Thirty incentives of $3,000 each are available to transportation service providers who purchase new, fully electric vehicles between 20 November 2018 and 15 April 2019. Drivers must transport paid fares at least 10,000 miles during the first year of ownership to receive the full incentive.
“Ride-sharing services have given our residents a new mobility option and created a new, flexible employment option for drivers in our region. We’re pleased to further advance ride-sharing in our community by improving the sustainability of the vehicles in these networks,” said Michael Stevens, chief innovation officer, city of Columbus. “This is also an opportunity to demonstrate that electric vehicles are an attractive option for high-mileage drivers, including ride-sharing and taxi drivers.”
In July, Smart Columbus issued 10 incentives worth $30,000 to Columbus Yellow Cab through the EV rebate programme. Smart Columbus expects to eliminate 135 to 269 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, through the programme, for the service life of the 40 vehicles funded.
“Ride-sharing services have given our residents a new mobility option and created a new, flexible employment option for drivers in our region”
The second phase of funding is open to taxis, transportation network companies registered with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and registered TNC company drivers, car-sharing and ride-sharing, such as van-pool commuter services and limo services.
Rebate recipients will be required to submit monthly data on vehicle utilisation to Smart Columbus. Payments will be issued in the sum of $1,500 after 5,000 service miles are documented, and $1,500 after 10,000 service miles are documented.
Rebate applications are available on the Smart Columbus website and are due by January 31, 2019. Clean Fuels Ohio has partnered with Smart Columbus to administer the programme and is available to help residents complete their application.
The city of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the US Department of Transportation $40 million Smart City Challenge in 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network.
Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G Allen Philanthropies to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system.