Electrifying Ride-Hailing in NYC

Student: Jeremy Solomon, js5636

  • Revel, a moped-sharing service that started in the outer boroughs of NYC and has made its way into Manhattan over the past year, plans on rolling out a service similar to Uber and Lyft that is made up of entirely electric vehicles. Their fleet is currently expected to consist of 50 Tesla Model Y’s from the outset.
  • While Revel says that they are working closely with the the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to file for the proper permits and obtain the permission they need to implement such a program, however the TLC has claimed that revel is attempting to avoid certain regulations and do things a bit more under the radar.
  • Revel refutes this point, however separately, opponents to this plan are noting that supply far outweights demand for ride-hailing in NYC at the moment, which would make it difficult for them to obtain the licenses required.
  • Uber and Lyft have vowed to electrify their fleets by 2030, but revel argues (and I happen to agree) that action needs to happen sooner than 2030 to avoid the worst effects of Climate Change and ICE combustion in cities.
  1. The sustainability issue that this technology addresses is one of health and safety of city residents. Widespread use of internal combustion engines (ICE’s) in urban areas ultimately contributes to health complications. including increased instances of asthma and lung cancer. ICE’s can also be considered an issue of sustainable energy; ICE’s are built on a framework of fossil fuels, a finite fuel source that is notoriously becoming phased out as a result of its substaintial contribution to Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere, and thus Climate Change.

Article Title: Revel plans all-electric NYC ride-hail service, regulators say it’s unlicensed

Website Name: Smart Cities Dive

Website Link: https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/revel-plans-all-electric-nyc-ride-hail-service-regulators-say-its-unlicen/599481/

3.

  • City Residents
  • For-Hire Vehicle Labor Force

4. Because supply currently outweights demand for this technology (or for-hire vehicles in general), the first step to implementing it is to decommission enough ICE for-hire vehicles to improve the ratio of for-hire vehicles on the road and demand for them. Second would be to engage the community as well as the for-hire vehicle employees to ensure that this transition is done in a fair, equitable manner. Third is to obtain the proper permits and liase with the proper city officials so that the plan to convert this fleet is done entirely by the book.

2 thoughts on “Electrifying Ride-Hailing in NYC

  1. Not only is Revel trying to roll out electric vehicles, but their partnership with Autofleet looks promising as it will streamline their service (and possibly avoid unnecessary idling/emissions of their drivers). That being said, I thought it was interesting that a ride-hailing company needs their drivers to be employees as opposed to independent contractors to analyze trip data. Data and AI in this case may help Revel’s case for efficiency in their conversations with the NY Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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  2. Does New York need another taxi service? The city does not need the added congestion by adding more cars to its streets. According to TLC, supply outweighs demand. I agree with the push to get the current taxi stock electrified. I would like to see Revel focus on improving its moped and e-bike business.

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