Revel is a transportation company that’s electrifying cities through charging infrastructure and shared electric vehicle fleets. Starting on August 2nd, Revel will be launching an app-based car service for 50 Tesla Model Y SUVs in New York.
How does New York feel about the addition of more vehicles in the city?
Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) spokesman Allan Fromberg mentioned that “There are approximately 120,000 TLC licensed vehicles in New York City, taxi and for-hire vehicles combined, and the TLC continues to encourage as many of those vehicles to convert to battery electric vehicles as possible.”
This led to the initial “reason” for the TLC to close off a loophole that would allow Revel to enter into the NYC ridesharing market and cause some political discourse prior to this recent shift opening the city back up to them.
Meanwhile electrification is a step forward in the right direction to reduce emissions, what does the increase in vehicles in New York City entail? Granted, Revel is only starting with 50 of them, there will be more to come. The real question is what does the phase out plan look like for existing internal combustion engine vehicles?
It is just as important, if not more important, to acknowledge that the current 120,000 TLC vehicles today need to be replaced by electric vehicles. New York City might look towards California’s recent executive order ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks, which starts in 2035. A policy like this will incentivize fleet owners to consider electrification much sooner. This leads to my second question.
What does this mean for New York City?
New York City is not ready for the demand of the increase in electric vehicles. As a result, Revel CEO Frank Reig hopes to build more charging stations. Even if more charging stations are built, the grid does not have the capacity. As a result, Revel is working with Con-Edison to identify locations for new charging stations and electricity substations.
What does this mean for the future of mobility?
New York City is a stellar example of a city reliant on public transportation and ridesharing. If New York City is facing challenges to electrify, what does that mean for other big cities?
Situations like this show that for as essential electrification is, we cannot rely solely on electrification for transportation. This is where policy can be a great motivator to nudge businesses and markets to adapt quickly. If there is no policy, businesses and cities would be much slower to transition away from fossil fuels. Policy can also accelerate investment and commercialization of other technologies, from biofuels to solid oxide fuel cells.
About The Author
Co-Founder at The Impact
Daniel currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His original assignment was to maintain and update facility safety documentation for all facilities on-site, and perform risk analysis. Over time, his role has expanded to leading continuous improvement efforts through product management.
Concurrently, Daniel volunteers with Techstars, helping organize startup weekends, and with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, organizing events on the local and national levels of the organization. He also volunteers with One World, and previously with Powerhouse Ventures, to source and screen startups for potential investment.
Daniel holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis, and recently completed coursework in energy innovation from Stanford. His passion is at the intersection of sustainability, innovation, and business.