January 13, 2020

Cortez Masto Sends Letters to Tech and Rideshare Giants Highlighting the Importance of Adopting Electric Vehicles to Combat Climate Change

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) sent a series of letters to executives at Google, Apple, Uber, Lyft and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) encouraging them to prioritize the adoption of electric (EV) and zero-emissions (ZEV) vehicles into our nation’s transportation network in order to combat the threat of climate change.   

“The transportation sector is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Any serious attempt to solve the pressing challenge of climate change must include transitioning private vehicle use away from traditional fuels toward more environmentally friendly alternatives, including electric and zero-emissions vehicles,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This will require federal and state governments and the private sector to work together to promote the adoption of and improve the ease of use of electric vehicles. I’m looking forward to collaborating with tech and rideshare companies and transportation departments across the country to improve sustainability and ensure our 21st century transportation technologies are accessible to everyone.”

In her letters to executives at Google, Apple, Uber, Lyft and AASHTO, Senator Cortez Masto highlighted the importance of adopting and facilitating the use of electric vehicles as well as expanding electric vehicle infrastructure across the country.

  • Specifically, in her letters to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook, the senator requested information on efforts by Google Maps and Apple Maps to integrate both privately and publically owned electric vehicle charging stations in their mapping services. The senator argued that, as electric vehicle use grows, consumers need to be able to quickly and efficiently find available charging stations.
  • The senator sent letters to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Lyft CEO Logan Green, urging them to encourage their drivers to adopt electric and zero-emission vehicles. She cited research that found that an electric vehicle driven for a transportation network company (TNC) delivers three times the benefit of one used for personal travel alone.
  • In her letter to Patrick McKenna and Jim Tymon, President and Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, Senator Cortez Masto highlighted the important role state transportation departments will play in transitioning private vehicle use away from traditional fuels toward more sustainable options. The senator requested additional information on how federal policy can best support state departments of transportation in ensuring adequate electric vehicle infrastructure exists.

Full text of the letters is available here.


In June, Senator Cortez Masto introduced four green transportation bills in the United States Senate: The Green Spaces, Green Vehicles Act; The Electric Transportation Commission and National Strategy Act; The Clean Fuel Infrastructure Act; and The Greener Transportation for Communities Act. These bills are designed to promote the use of cleaner transportation options, encourage the construction of electric charging and hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure on federal lands, require a national strategy to promote electric vehicle use, and provide economic incentives for the construction of clean fuel infrastructure. The senator is a cosponsor of the Driving America Forward Act and the Electric Cars Act to expand the electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell tax credits.

In 2018, President Trump signed Senator Cortez Masto’s Generating Revenue for Electric and Emission-Negligible (GREEN) Vehicles at Airports Act into law. This bill allows the purchase and lease of zero-emission vehicles to be eligible for funding within the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and authorizes DOT to establish a new zero-emission airport technology program to facilitate the deployment of commercially viable zero-emission vehicles.