Beginning on Aug. 2nd, anyone traveling in downtown New York will be able to hail an electric ride from a fleet of electric blue Tesla’s owned by the e-mobility company, Revel.
That’s when the Brooklyn-based electric mobility company — which already does a brisk business renting out scooters and electric bikes and operating electric vehicle charging stations — will roll out its new taxi service, according to the New York Daily News.
Revel’s got a fleet of 50 Tesla’s that will be operated by company employees, rather than gig workers, and intends to offer rides for customers south of 42nd street in Manhattan to start.
Revel’s new app-based ride-hailing service was able to skirt 2018 restrictions on the number of ride-hailing vehicles allowed to operate in New York by taking advantage of an exemption the city had made for battery electric and wheelchair-accessible cars and passenger vans.
However, as soon as Revel unveiled its plans in April for its fleet of Tesla-based taxis, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission shut the door on other companies using the same exemptions.
“The TLC voted to close a loophole and stop the proliferation of new cars from further flooding an already oversaturated market,” TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told the Daily News. “There are approximately 120,000 TLC licensed vehicles in NYC, taxi and for-hire vehicles combined, and the TLC continues to encourage as many of those vehicles to convert to battery electric vehicles as possible.”
The first 15 Revel cars will hit the streets next week, according to the Daily News.
In June, Revel took the covers off of 25 electric car charging stations the company built out in a parking lot in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
The push into automotive electrification and charging comes amid a broader effort to electrify New York’s vehicle infrastructure — an effort that Revel founder Frank Reig told the Daily News lags behind other big cities.
“There’s 2.5 million vehicles in this city, a lot are buses or sanitation trucks, and supposedly over the next 10 to 15 years they’ll all be electric,” Reig told the local paper. “The grid is already maxed out and on the verge of blackout in weather events. Where are these vehicles going to charge?”