All-electric rideshare in NYC surpasses 2 million rides

A Revel driver charges his electric vehicle; a blue Revel car drives through the streets of New York; a Superhub charging station in NYC

Between record-high sales of electric vehicles in the United States and emerging laws and incentives encouraging the use of EVs across the country, it makes sense that the rideshare market is going electric, too.

New York’s Revel is celebrating a big milestone in this transition to cleaner transportation.

The Brooklyn-based electric mobility and infrastructure company, which emerged in 2018, just celebrated its two-millionth ride. 

The milestone comes less then six months after the company’s millionth ride — which was taken by Brooklyn native and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Chuck Schumer rides in the back seat of a Revel vehicle
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) taking Revel’s 1,000,000th ride in August 2023 at Revel’s flagship Superhub in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Revel

“It took two years to get to 1,000,000 rides, [and] it only took a quarter of that time to double it,” Revel’s CEO and co-founder Frank Reig said in a press release. “Every ride Revel provides to New Yorkers directly displaces an emission-producing trip — that’s cleaner air and a better city today.”

The press release estimates that two million Revel rides offset over 9,000,0000 pounds of carbon emissions. 

Aside from the eco-benefits of riding with Revel, the company also boasts meaningful business practices — a contrast to other rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber.

Revel employs about 1,500 drivers as W2 employees who have guaranteed hourly wages and access to benefits like health care, paid time off, and 401(k) retirement planning. The company also covers vehicle costs like leasing, maintenance, and charging.

Those vehicles are part of a fleet of over 500 EVs, including Tesla Model Ys and Model 3s, as well as Kia Niro EVs. 

An Asian Revel driver in a black mask and glasses stands outside of a blue vehicle, his arms crossed in front of his chest
Photo courtesy of Revel

Revel is only operational in the New York metropolitan area, but drivers deliver rides in all five boroughs in NYC, as well as parts of northern New Jersey, and to-and-from three major airports.

Aside from ridesharing, the company has ventured into building the city’s public fast charging infrastructure — especially as Mayor Eric Adams mandated New York’s rideshare industry to electrify by 2030

“EVs make a lot of sense for the rideshare industry, but there needs to be much more public fast charging infrastructure so drivers, especially those in big cities, can make the switch,” Revel spokesperson Bobby Familiar told Good Good Good. 

“Rideshare drivers see cost savings from lower fueling and maintenance costs with EVs,” he continued. “And in terms of environmental impact, electrifying one rideshare vehicle has the same emissions reduction impact as more than three private cars because they do so many more miles.”

Adam’s mandate — called the Green Rides Initiative — will require upwards of 100,000 rideshare vehicles to go electric by 2030. According to Familiar, that will eliminate more than 600,000 tons of carbon emissions every year.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the country.

A Revel Superhub charging station in New York City
Photo courtesy of Revel

“If more cities made the same commitment, it would be a huge victory for urban public health and the climate,” Familiar said.

Revel has three fast charging “Superhubs” open to the public, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, South Williamsburg, and Long Island City. The Bedford location has 25 fast charging plugs and is touted as the largest charging station of its kind in North America. 

“Growing our publicly available fast charging network in New York is a top priority. We are building this infrastructure in communities nobody else has,” Familiar said. “Areas historically last to get new investments and improvements are often the same that stand to benefit most from zero-emission EVs.”

One example is the South Bronx, where Revel is building a fast charging station this year — an area that has been called “Asthma Alley” due to its high rate of respiratory issues.

Familiar continued: “EVs can only make a difference if they’re accessible to everyone.”

Header images courtesy of Revel

Article Details

January 19, 2024 9:42 AM
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