See the custom Tesla taxi hitting NYC in May as part the city’s first all-electric ride-hailing service

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Some customers will be able to order a ride starting in May.

  • 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.
An all-electric ride-hailing service is headed to New York with a fleet of custom Teslas.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

Brooklyn startup Revel plans to unleash 50 bright blue Tesla Model Y compact SUVs onto downtown Manhattan streets in May.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

Revel customized the cars with more than just a paint job.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

By removing the front passenger’s seat, Revel gave riders extra legroom and a place to put their bag.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

The driver is separated from passengers by a plastic barrier for COVID-19 safety.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

There’s a touchscreen in the back that riders can use to change the music or the climate controls.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

The screen also displays a map that shows the ride’s progress.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

And Revel added a power outlet and USB plugs to the passenger footwell.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

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.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

They’ll also each come with a child’s seat in the trunk.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

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.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

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.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

A benefit of owning a fleet of Teslas is that Revel can tap into the cars remotely to monitor each vehicle’s performance.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

When a taxi starts running low on battery, the company will begin routing trips toward a charging station, Reig said.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

On the flip side, the company may tell drivers they have enough juice left to extend their shift.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

The vehicles will charge overnight at Revel’s own Superhub fast-charging stations, which it says will start rolling out in June.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

Reig said Revel will also give feedback to drivers about their top speed, acceleration, and braking to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

Customers can sign up for Revel’s waitlist now, and the company says rides will be priced competitively with Uber and Lyft.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

The service will launch below 42nd Street, but Revel aims to expand to other neighborhoods in New York and to other markets over time.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

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.

Revel Tesla Model Y.
Revel Tesla Model Y.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An all-electric Uber competitor is coming to New York in May with a fleet of Tesla Model Ys

[EMBARGO 4/28 10:30AM ET DNP] Revel Model Y taxi
Revel is giving New Yorkers a zero-emission option for hailing a ride.

  • Brooklyn startup Revel is launching an electric ride-hailing service in May.
  • Users will be able to order a ride in Manhattan from Revel’s initial fleet of 50 Tesla Model Ys.
  • Revel will bring on drivers as employees rather than independent contractors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A new ride-hailing service is looking to take on Uber and Lyft in New York City with a fleet of electric vehicles.

Brooklyn startup Revel, known primarily for its app-based moped-sharing service, is expanding into the taxi business, the company announced on Wednesday. The service will launch with an initial fleet of 50 Tesla Model Y crossovers that users can order through the Revel app starting in late May. It’s also building an in-house charging network to power them.

Revel says getting into ride-hailing is the next logical step in its plan to expand zero-emission transportation options.

“Our mission has always been to electrify cities,” Frank Reig, Revel’s co-founder and CEO, told Insider. “As you think about a company that is trying to create an electric-vehicle ecosystem – electrify every single trip in a city, A to B – rideshare for us was really just a natural next step in that process.”

[EMBARGO 4/28 10:30AM ET DNP] Revel Model Y taxi
The taxis will be available below Manhattan’s 42nd Street to start.

The service will at first be limited to Manhattan below 42nd Street, but Revel expects it will grow much like the company’s original moped business, which has expanded from a small area of Brooklyn to six major markets since 2018.

In addition to being served exclusively by company-owned EVs, Revel’s ride-hailing platform sets itself apart in that it will be staffed by employees rather than independent contractors. Drivers will be entitled to guaranteed wages, paid time off, health insurance, and other benefits that self-employed drivers for rival services don’t get, but many have demanded for years.

[EMBARGO 4/28 10:30AM ET DNP] Revel Model Y taxi
Revel’s taxis have extra legroom due to a front-seat delete.

Managing its own fleet and bringing on professional drivers as employees should drive down costs by reducing driver turnover and liability risk, Reig says. Pricing will be competitive with other companies in the space, but Revel promises a slightly more premium experience.

Read more: Inside Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s 4-year quest to root out the toxic culture that nearly sank the world’s most valuable startup

Each of the Model Y taxis has the front seat removed for extra legroom and features a touchscreen for passengers to toggle climate controls and music.

The cars will hit streets as Revel works to get another project off the ground: A network of fast-charging stations for electric cars called Superhubs. By launching both businesses simultaneously, Revel COO and co-founder Paul Suhey told Insider, Revel’s taxis get a place to charge overnight and its first Superhubs get enough business to make them profitable to operate.

[EMBARGO 4/28 10:30AM ET DNP] Revel Model Y taxi
Revel’s first Superhub opens in June.

Revel’s first Superhub will open in Brooklyn in June and will eventually be the largest universal fast-charging station in North America, according to the company. Revel also announced a $99-per-month e-bike leasing service in February.

Ride-hailing customers will need to join a waitlist due to limited availability to start. Over the next year, Revel plans to expand its fleet and add additional electric models to meet rider demand.

Read the original article on Business Insider