- Brooklyn startup Revel plans to launch an all-electric ride-hailing business in New York in May.
- It’ll be served by a fleet of 50 blue Tesla Model Y SUVs to start.
- The cars have extra legroom, a touchscreen in back, and room for up to five passengers.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Brooklyn startup Revel plans to unleash 50 bright blue Tesla Model Y compact SUVs onto downtown Manhattan streets in May.
Revel customized the cars with more than just a paint job.
By removing the front passenger’s seat, Revel gave riders extra legroom and a place to put their bag.
The driver is separated from passengers by a plastic barrier for COVID-19 safety.
There’s a touchscreen in the back that riders can use to change the music or the climate controls.
The screen also displays a map that shows the ride’s progress.
And Revel added a power outlet and USB plugs to the passenger footwell.
Despite the missing seat, Revel’s taxis can still carry five passengers, since some of them will have a third row with room for two.
They’ll also each come with a child’s seat in the trunk.
Revel chose the Model Y because it offered the best combination of range, price, and user experience, Frank Reig, the startup’s CEO, told Insider.
But the most crucial factor was that the vehicle be able to travel at least 300 miles on a charge, Reig said. The Long Range Model Y has an EPA-estimated range of 326 miles.
A benefit of owning a fleet of Teslas is that Revel can tap into the cars remotely to monitor each vehicle’s performance.
When a taxi starts running low on battery, the company will begin routing trips toward a charging station, Reig said.
On the flip side, the company may tell drivers they have enough juice left to extend their shift.
The vehicles will charge overnight at Revel’s own Superhub fast-charging stations, which it says will start rolling out in June.
Reig said Revel will also give feedback to drivers about their top speed, acceleration, and braking to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.
Customers can sign up for Revel’s waitlist now, and the company says rides will be priced competitively with Uber and Lyft.
The service will launch below 42nd Street, but Revel aims to expand to other neighborhoods in New York and to other markets over time.
The company is sticking with Tesla Model Ys for now, but plans to expand its fleet and add some “exciting options” over the next year or so, Reig said.