In 2018, Revel started with shared, dockless e-mopeds in Brooklyn that expanded to Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and several U.S cities. This year, the company launched an e-bike service where customers can subscribe to one monthly.
Now, Revel launches an all-electric rideshare service that will be powered by a fleet of Tesla Model Ys in Manhattan. Revel has undergone several identity crises as it tried out multiple forms of mobility that are starting to come together as a calculated strategy to monopolize the electric infrastructure in the cities.
The new rideshare service will launch in late May 2021 with a fleet of 50 Tesla Model Ys branded with Revel’s logo. The company says it is the next step of the process towards electrifying every single trip in the cities. Revel customers soon will be able to access the new ride-hailing service using the same app to book e-mopeds.
The launch will start in a zone below 42nd Street and will expand to neighborhoods based on demand and data from the initial phase. Revel is taking the same approach that it took with the initial launch of e-moped three years ago by starting in a small area and grow gradually to serving an entire city.
Revel is still in the middle of the application process to become an approved operator. The initial application was approved but the company says there are a few more steps left before they are issued a license to operate in NYC and around the New York state.
Revel plans to keep customer rates on par with major competitors like Uber and Lyft. However, instead of relying on gig economy workers, the company plans to hire drivers to drive a fleet of Tesla Model Ys.
Reig, the founder, and CEO of Revel, said the reason behind hiring drivers is to keep the price affordable and to eliminate insurance risks and asset depreciation from being passed onto New York City residents just to make a living.
It made sense for Revel to hire and employ drivers because the company will own a fleet of Tesla Model Ys that is built to Revel’s specifications. The Tesla Model Ys will be painted in Revel-blue and come with a touchscreen along with control cabin conditions.
The front passenger seat will be removed to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and creates additional legroom for the passengers who want to stretch their legs. However, Revel learned an important lesson from the $200 million campaign spent by Uber and Lyft to pass Proposition 22.
Revel is a firm believer that money can go towards attracting and maintaining a skilled, solid workforce as opposed to filling in the pool with disillusioned drivers.
Reig emphasized that safety is the number one priority when it comes to managing a fleet. Therefore it is important that the drivers they employed understand the acceleration, the speed and the braking of the car at all the time. At the end of every shift, the Revel drivers will get safety scores so that they can make improvements to their driving.
Furthermore, this will help the company lower insurance costs and liabilities which translates into profit and better customer experience. As President Biden aims to electrify the U.S infrastructure with its $174 billion bills, Revel wants to be one of the first businesses to go forward.
Revel’s plan to offer a ride-hailing service is not about building a new business line. But it is also about accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and encourage major companies like Tesla to build more EV charging stations. Revel is trying to establish an electric monopoly while solving issues for prospective EV buyers who would only buy electric vehicles if there are enough charging stations and planners to build the EV infrastructure.
Reig pointed out that everything Revel does as a company is all about driving Americans to adopt EVs and increase access to electric mobility in all cities. When people think of access to electric mobility in a different mode as to whether it is an electric bike, an electric scooter, or an electric bike — Revel is thinking broadly about electrifying the cities.