The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) canceled Revel’s planned fleet of 50 Tesla taxis in New York City, and the reasons given are, to say the least, ambiguous.
Revel, a mobility startup best known for its ride-sharing fleets of electric scooters, said earlier this year that it was starting an endeavor to bring a fleet of Model Y Tesla taxis to New York.
Because Revel had customized the Model Y to make it an ideal taxi car, the endeavor was particularly fascinating.
To provide extra legroom, they fitted a screen to the Model Y’s rear and eliminated the front passenger seat.
As a result, a unique zero-emission tesla taxis experience emerges:
The TLC, however, has already shut down the proposal.
In New York, it’s difficult to obtain a driver’s license or a tesla taxis license, but Revel was taking advantage of an exception for electric cars designed at speeding up EV adoption.
TLC indicated that the exception will be phased down shortly after Revel started its Tesla fleet effort.
It is not sustainable to allow an unlimited number of new vehicles to the road in a city that is all too familiar with the choke of traffic congestion. What we will not allow is the opportunity for another corporation — venture capitalists or otherwise — to flood our streets with additional cars.TLC chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk said (via Marketwatch)
The fear seems to be that it will add too many automobiles to the road, causing traffic congestion in the metropolis.
Revel should instead purchase permits from gas-powered taxis, according to the commission:
The TLC argued that Revel can still operate if it buys 50 gas cars and swaps their licenses out for electric vehicles — a requirement that Revel called “the very definition of limiting market competition.”
But it is precisely what is driving up the cost of those licenses and making it difficult for electric vehicles to operate as taxis in the city.
When speaking to the TLC about the situation, Revel CEO Frank Reig didn’t mince words:
“We’re offering exactly what this commission has been asking for for years: fair treatment and stable pay for drivers — who are all W-2 employees with benefits — and a plan to drive EV adoption in the city. The Commissioners sat through almost three hours of testimony on all sides yet asked zero questions and spent zero time deliberating before making a policy decision with profound consequences,” Reig said in a statement. “The TLC never intended to consider what drivers and New Yorkers had to say, and only cared about jamming through this vote on Primary Day with as little scrutiny as possible.”CEO Frank Reig
The TLC voted 5 to 1 to kill the idea, with Bill Aguado, an artist and activist from the Bronx, being the lone supporter of electric car deployment.
Reig informed the local press that the firm still intends to “attack the streets” with their electric vehicles, and that they feel the law will be on their side.
From our point of view, it is clear that the commission is unconcerned with traffic, as they said. They were concerned with their authority, which is based on the rarity of such permits, making them precious and difficult to get.
The fleet of Revel posed a danger. That is all there is to it.
They will find any justification to defend their authority, no matter how weak or shaky it is. It stated that ride-sharing firms such as Uber and Lyft get around the law by not hiring full-time employees with benefits. They discovered another reason now that Revel has arrived with a solution.
This should infuriate New Yorkers. If I were you, New Yorkers, I would contact all of those great commissioners, with the exception of Bill Aguado, and inform them that they are not foes.