Revel, the all-electric rideshare service based in New York, just celebrated its one millionth ride since the service rolled out in New York City just two years ago. Who was the lucky passenger to take that millionth ride? None other than New York Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer took the opportunity to highlight how funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is helping to electrify dense urban areas like New York City. Electric vehicles’ lack of emissions leads to improved local air quality as well as reduced risk of climate change due to global warming.
Revel, which started as an electric moped sharing service in 2018, launched an all-electric rideshare service with 50 Tesla Model Y cars in 2021. The company’s fleet has grown to 300 active EVs operated by over 1,000 drivers. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Revel prides itself as having all salaried employees (with benefits, including healthcare, 401K, and paid vacation time) behind the wheels of its cars.
The company held an event and photo op yesterday at its flagship public electric vehicle fast-charging Superhub in Brooklyn to celebrate its millionth ride. The charging station is one of the largest on the East Coast, with 25 high-speed DC fast chargers. Although Revel’s fleet is currently made up mostly of Tesla Model Ys and Model 3s, the company has also recently added Kia Niro EVs to its growing EV fleet. The company’s charging hubs include both Tesla plugs and CCS plugs for compatibility with most electric vehicles currently on the market. Revel’s EV fast-charging hubs are open not just to Revel drivers but to the public as well.
Senator Schumer delivered remarks at the event about the importance of EV adoption to eliminate vehicle emissions, the second largest source of carbon emissions in New York City. He then hopped in the back seat of one of Revel’s light blue Tesla Model Ys to enjoy his ride.
“Revel is undertaking something very new and exciting and that is to lay out charging infrastructure throughout New York, so cars — whether they be [ride share] cars like Revel’s, or Ubers, or Lyfts, or privately owned cars — can charge up on the streets,” said Schumer. “The Inflation Reduction Act put in over $2.5 billion to help pay for charging stations. Revel’s going to take advantage of that. We have also encouraged electric vehicle adoption with a $7,500 federal subsidy to help make our air cleaner, our driving smoother, and just pave the way for the future. We want cars to be made and driven in America.”
Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a new requirement for Revel competitors Lyft and Uber to shift their fleets to all zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030. But being all-electric from the start gives Revel a leg up on the competition from this perspective. As Adams stated, “That’s zero emissions for over 100,000 vehicles on our city streets. And it will be achieved with no new costs for individual drivers.”
Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig had his own remarks at the event: “As a Brooklyn-born company, we were honored to have another native of the borough, Majority Leader Schumer, take our one millionth zero-emission EV ride and show how electrification is taking hold in New York City. Thanks to the historic Inflation Reduction Act led by Senator Schumer and the Biden Administration, Revel is able to help New York and more dense US cities access EVs faster, lowering transportation emissions and improving local air quality.”
The company confirmed that it is accessing IRA incentive programs to accelerate the buildout of its public EV fast charging network and zero-emission fleet. Specifically, Revel cited the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit as well as the Clean Vehicle Tax Credit, which not only helps Revel grow its own electric fleet, but also supports utilization of Revel’s existing EV charging infrastructure, as other rideshare services and general consumers can more affordably own or lease EVs. Revel also noted community grants from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are helping ensure essential public EV infrastructure is reaching underserved neighborhoods in dense cities.
By The Numbers
By providing one million electric rides, Revel says it has offset 4,065,580 pounds of vehicle-based carbon emissions, or about 1,844 metric tons. That is equivalent to the CO2 capture of over 42,000 trees over the same timespan. According to the company, electrifying one rideshare vehicle has been found to have the equivalent emissions reduction impact as three or more privately owned EVs.
Revel also committed to collaborating with the senator’s office on micromobility charging solutions. In June, Senator Schumer, alongside fellow New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, announced $25 million in emergency funding for New York City to develop safe charging facilities for e-bikes. Unsafe and unregulated indoor e-bike charging facilities combined with lithium-ion battery packs of questionable quality, have resulted in several fires in New York City, including one just last month in Chinatown which led to four deaths. New York City is cracking down on these illegal charging stations, issuing citations while also funding a safer public e-bike charging network. The city is even passing a law in September that prohibits the sale of any electric mobility devices that fail to meet certain safety guidelines. Revel is currently working with city and state officials to help build a safer e-bike charging network.
Revel currently operates its ridesharing fleet of EVs picking up and dropping off passengers in all five burroughs of New York City and parts of northern New Jersey, including all three of the major airports in the NYC area (LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark).
In addition to having the only 100% EV rideshare service in the city, Revel is currently the leading provider of public EV fast charging in New York City. The company has two Superhubs open and a pipeline to add over 130 plugs by the end of 2023 and hundreds more in the following year. Revel’s Superhubs are open to the public 24/7, have no paywalls or hidden fees, can fully charge EVs in minutes, and are equipped with plugs for both Tesla’s “North America Charging Standard” (NACS) and the Combined Charging System (CCS) for maximum EV compatibility.
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