Revel, the company that sees itself as part of a movement to electrify transportation, is testing new business model of ride-hailing service in New York City using only electrical vehicles – Tesla, to be precise- and drivers that are employed by the company instead of owning the cars, NY Daily News reports.
The company, already renting electric mopeds and e-bikes in NYC, will start with 50 custom-painted baby blue electric Tesla Model Ys available for pickups and drop-offs that will be owned and maintained by Revel, unlike the traditional ride-sharing.
Its operation, involving 150 employed drivers and fleet maintenance operators with guaranteed wages and access to benefits, is licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Although Uber and Lyft announced intention to shift their networks to EVs, they’ve refuted drivers’ attempts to seek employee status.
The passenger fares are supposed to be comparable to Uber or Lyft, and the service offer be limited to below 42nd Street in Manhattan for now, with plans to extend.
According to CEO and co-founder Frank Reig, Revel can be profitable being focused on dense urban areas where use is high and ride-sharing prices are rational and due to EVs’ lower operating costs, but warned that the main hindrance is the lack of charging infrastructure in big cities that needs to be built if the city wants to meet its electric vehicle target.