Ride-Sharing Startup Revel is Launching a Transportation Service in New York City Using Only Company-owned Tesla Model Ys

Ride-Sharing Startup Revel is Launching a Transportation Service in New York City Using Only Company-owned Tesla Model Ys

Author: Eric Walz   

Ride-hailing startup Revel is disrupting the business model of Uber and Lyft by using independent contractors driving their own vehicles to pick up customers. The company is also launching its transportation service using only electric vehicles.

Revel's new ride-hailing service which is launching in New York City next month exclusively uses a fleet of Tesla Model Y crossovers. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Revel's driver partners are hired on as employees, and the company owns the entire fleet of Model Ys, so drivers don't have to worry about wear and tear and accumulating miles on their personal vehicles or the added expense of maintaining them.

The service will launch in late May in Manhattan, with a fleet of 50 Tesla Model Y's painted in Revel-blue. The vehicles will be available for pickups and dropoffs in Manhattan below 42nd Street.

It will be New York City's only 100% zero-emissions ride-share service and the Tesla vehicles will offer a more comfortable experience for passengers.

"Cities like New York don't need another company promising electric fleets in 2030...they need companies delivering now," said Revel CEO and Co-Founder Frank Reig. "Revel is building a platform to electrify cities, and rideshare is a key part of it."

Revel is a Brooklyn-based transportation company founded in 2018. The company began by renting electric mopeds before expanding to include ebikes. Customers can unlock a bike or moped using the Revel smartphone app.


The fleet of 50 vehicles represent the first phase of the rideshare program. Revel plans to expand the service with more vehicles over the next two years, the company said. 

Revel's rideshare service will also help the company accelerate the buildout of a fast-charging "Superhub" network in New York City. The Suberhub can accommodate the charving of many vehicles at once.

The Revel fleet will be 100% owned and maintained by the company. All of the company's drivers are actual employees that receive training and access to benefits such as health care and paid time off, which Uber drivers have been fighting for in cities around the world.

"The future of our planet depends on the actions we take today. New Yorkers need sustainable transportation options and Revel's newest rideshare program offers the city tangible ways to reduce its carbon footprint. I commend Revel not only for its leadership in combating climate change, but also as an employer protecting and promoting worker's rights. Innovative and effective solutions that empower employees while protecting our environment are a win for all," said NY Congressman Ritchie Torres.

Revel's fleet of Tesla Model Ys will have extra legroom. The company has removed the front passenger seats in each of the Model Y vehicles. It gives backseat passengers room to stretch out. Revel added a touch screen display that can be accessed from the rear set to control the temperature or play music through an interactive touchscreen interface. 

For added safety as the country recovers from the global pandemic, all of the Model Y vehicles will follow the same COVID-19 guidelines. Revel added a clear partition that separates the driver from the passenger. Revel said that each vehicle will be cleaned daily to minimize the risk of covid exposure. 

Pricing for the service will be competitive with other rideshare companies, the company said.

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Revel removes the front passenger seat in each Tesla Model Y for additional comfort and legroom for passengers.

For anyone that has traveled in a well-worn NYC cab, Revel's Model Ys vehicles will offer a more upscale and comfortable experience for riders.

"Going electric should be an easy decision," said Revel COO and Co-Founder Paul Suhey. "The experience will feel like a free upgrade, so choosing Revel should be a no-brainer for New Yorkers."

Revel's service will help the company accelerate the expansion of its EV fast-charging Superhub network in New York City. 

Revel announced in February that it will soon open the largest universal fast charging depot in North America in Brooklyn. The EV chargers will be open to the public on a 24/7 basis and accessible to owners of any electric vehicle brand. This Superhub will go live in June with its first 10 EV chargers. More locations across New York City are planned for 2021.

Revel said its rideshare service will have a waitlist due to expected demand and limited availability. New Yorkers who want to try Revel rideshare can sign up for the waitlist in-app or online starting today.

Revel currently operates in transportation service in four New York City boroughs, Washington, D.C., Miami, Florida, and the California Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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