Revel to Launch Blue, Electric Taxi Service Next Week
Revel will launch, next Monday, a new fleet of blue, electric Tesla taxis that will serve as an ethical and eco-friendly competitor to ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, whose prices have skyrocketed.
In addition to driving electric cars, Revel’s taxi service is different from other ride-sharing services because it hires full-time employees, rather than independent contractors.
Also, in contrast to the tens of thousands of cars that Uber and Lyft have on New York City Streets each day, Revel is starting with 15 blue Tesla taxis a week from today and then plans to add 35 more within a few weeks.
“We are going to start out in Manhattan, and we will see how it goes, but we do foresee launching in Brooklyn in the near future, but we don't know exactly when,” said Lesley Brandi, a customer experience expert at Revel, the electrical vehicle start-up that has had its headquarters in Brooklyn, since Frank Reig founded it in 2018 with Paul Suhey, who is the company’s chief operating officer.
Reig and Suhey initially started Revel in July 2018 in a 10-month pilot in Brooklyn and Queens with 68 scooters, which, by May 2019, were replaced with 1,000 new scooters.
"The size of the fleet [50 taxis] we are launching is too small to serve the entire city," Owen Stone, a Revel spokesman, told BoroPark24. "Our thinking here is similar to when we launched 68 mopeds in three North Brooklyn neighborhoods.
"With a limited fleet, we need to limit our service area to a smaller area where we know there’s going to be demand. Once we’ve established what the utilization patterns and data look like, we can consider growing into other neighborhoods and boroughs."
When Revel first announced its plans in April, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) baffled many when it voted to prohibit new “for-hire licenses” for electric vehicles.
In response, CEO Frank Reig, who called the agency’s new rules, “unprecedented resistance,” announced that Revel would go ahead anyway with its plan to launch an initial fleet of 50 electric Tesla taxis.
“The truth is: we didn’t know whether these licenses were going to be approved by the TLC,” a Revel spokesperson said.
Reversing its previous decision, however, today, the TLC approved Revel’s new Tesla taxi plan because the company had sent its paperwork for approval in back in March, which was months before the TLC changed its rules, a Revel spokesperson told the New York Post.
As of this morning, 49 out of 50 of Revel’s Model Y Teslas had received license plates, and at least 15 have already passed inspections, said a Revel spokesperson, who explained that the vehicles will be charged at Bed-Stuy charging facility that Revel opened in June.