EV/AV Report: May 11, 2020

Toronto, Ontario — May 11, 2020 — In this week’s AV/EV report, excitement over driverless cars goes viral at the Mayo Centre,  gas prices diminish electric demand, and Lyft pilots a new service in Canada.

Robots: patient drivers

One of the best-known American medical centres is using an autonomous vehicle to safely transport patients infected with COVID-19.

The not-for-profit Mayo Clinic, located in Minnesota, has reached a partnership agreement with two autonomous technology businesses, Beep and Navya, to use a driverless vehicle to ferry suspected COVID-19 victims into a drive-through testing facility at its Florida centre.

EVs face gas problems

The low price of gas may cripple electric vehicle sales, auto industry research and analysis firm MacKenzie Wood reported in a new study.

With gas prices hovering around $0.75 cents-a-litre across Canada, consumers may be less tempted by cars that do not have to hit the pump.
According to the firm, EV sales in Canada may dip by almost a million in 2020, compared to 2019. In 2019, Canadians bought 2.2 million electric vehicles. In 2020, the firm estimates it will sell just 1.3 million.

Lower price on Lyfts

Lyft Inc. is bringing a pilot program to Canada that gives customers lower fares if they agree to wait longer for their pickup. The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company says the program will debut in more than 90 Canadian and American cities on May 5.

Lyft says the longer customers wait to be matched to the best-located driver, the cheaper their fare will be and that users will pay less than they would for a standard ride.

The pilot is being introduced in a bid to help Canadians find an affordable way to get to essential locations like supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and laundromats during the pandemic. The company says it has seen the percentage of rides to these essential locations more than double and hopes the new program will alleviate some of the troubles Canadians find while commuting during the pandemic.

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