About a month ago, news broke that the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission blocked startup Revel from launching its fleet of 50 Tesla Model Y taxis in NYC. It did that by ending an exemption of the limit for app-based drive-for-hire licenses for EVs.
As it turns out, the regulatory agency removed the exemption shortly after Revel announced its new Tesla fleet. Naturally, the mobility company argued that its applications for electric cars were submitted before the change went into effect, and the commission was forced to accept Revel’s request.
As a result, the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission has granted Revel 49 licenses, according to the organization’s spokesman Allan Fromberg. That means all but one vehicle in Revel’s Model Y fleet are good to go.
Gallery: Revel Tesla Model Y Taxi
Fifteen vehicles have already been inspected and approved for operation as early as next week, with the remaining to roll out after passing the inspection and approval for ride-hailing services. Revel’s fleet will operate south of 42nd St. in Manhattan, all the way down to the tip of the island.
The company told Teslarati that it could expand to other boroughs once it gets an idea of where the fleet is utilized more frequently. Revel will also open a Superhub in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn consisting of 25 Level 3 chargers. According to the company, this will be the largest universal fast charging depot in the Americas.
Revel, which already operates more than 3,000 Niu electric scooters, aims to launch its Tesla Model Y taxi service in NYC on August 2. The company has modified the Tesla Model Y for ride-hailing use by removing the front passenger seat to create more legroom and adding a screen in the backseat.
Unlike Uber and Lyft, Revel plans to employ its drivers instead of hiring contractors.