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Waymo's driverless taxi fleet will soon be completely electric

2023-03-31 19:08 by


On Thursday, the Alphabet-owned autonomous vehicle operator announced it was phasing out the plug-in hybrid minivans it had been using for the last seven years. Instead, Waymo will rely on the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace as a platform for the fifth generation of its "Waymo Driver," which is the branding the company uses to describe its autonomous driving hardware and software stack that enable its vehicles to drive without a person behind the steering wheel.

The Alphabet-owned brand is unsurprisingly eager to tout the environmental perks. As Waymo's cars are much more active than the typical personally-owned ride, the switch to EVs should have a noticeable impact on emissions. Waymo adds that it exclusively uses renewable energy to power the EVs.

By the end of April, ride-hail customers in Phoenix's East Valley (primarily Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa, Arizona) will be able to access a fully electric fleet, which runs on the fifth-generation Waymo Driver AI platform.

The move comes nearly five years to the date that Waymo and Jaguar announced a partnership to design and engineer a fully self-driving version of the all-electric sport-utility vehicle.

"We believe that autonomous EVs efficiently driven around the clock can maximize [their] environmental benefits with a significantly higher vehicle utilization," Waymo said(Opens in a new window) this week. "Our EV fleet is matched with 100% renewable energy, which enables us to provide a zero-emission ride-hailing service to our customers."

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