Waymo today announced that it is moving towards a fully electric vehicle-powered fleet for its Waymo One ride-hailing service, as the Jaguar I-PACE replaces older vehicles.
In a blog post, Waymo confirms plans to retire its previous-generation fleet of vehicles used for ride-hailing, which consists of modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans. The hybrid vehicles have been on the road since 2016. Waymo later introduced a Jaguar I-PACE equipped with self-driving tech that went on to share the road with the older, partially gas-powered vans.
Waymo in 2018 ordered over 60,000 Pacifica minivans outfitted with its self-driving tech, but less than 1,000 were ultimately built, and mostly used in Arizona for Waymo One.
Going forward, Waymo will rely completely on the fully electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles, its fifth-generation design.
Waymo explains that this transition also sees the company joining the White House’s “EV Acceleration Challenge” which pushes businesses to deploy all-EV fleets.
The company notes that, as these vehicles are used for ride-hailing, their environmental impact can be maximized compared to privately-owned EVs which spend “95%” of their time parked. Waymo also says that “hailing a fully autonomous ride with Waymo may be the easiest way to access an EV.”
Electric vehicles like the I-PACE generate less carbon emissions than their gas counterparts, but with the average vehicle in the U.S. parked 95% of the time, their full benefits are often unrealized. We believe that autonomous EVs efficiently driven around the clock can maximize those environmental benefits with a significantly higher vehicle utilization. Taking it a step further, our EV fleet is matched with 100% renewable energy, which enables us to provide a zero-emission ride-hailing service to our customers.
Waymo further says that this transition will allow the company to “better optimize our technical and operational support to be more efficient” as it prepares future vehicles on the ZEEKR mobility platform.
More on Waymo:
- Waymo lays off over 130 employees in second round of cuts so far this year
- Waymo starts autonomous testing in LA with no human driver
- Waymo marks 1 million miles with ‘no human driver on public roads’
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