NYC TLC Set to Remove EV Exemption from 'Plate Cap'...Revel's Plan May Have Caused Concern
The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) is set to vote on removing the electric vehicle exemption from the FHV License Pause (aka TLC Plate Cap) on June 22nd
As we reported in late April, the public tension between Revel co-founder Frank Reig and TLC Chair Heredia Jarmoszuk around the company’s plans to launch an all-Tesla NYC ridehailing service was noteworthy. In fact, we concluded that article as follows.
As you can tell, pretty contentious on both sides. Definitely something to track! One thought that’s crossed my mind is the TLC may very soon limit the EV and WAV exemption in a way that prevents fleets from adding several cars. - AutoMarketplace, April 28, 2021
Well, on June 22nd the TLC is set to remove the electric vehicle (EV) exemption that was instituted in 2019, a year after the original August 2018 ‘FHV License Pause’ (often referred to as the ‘TLC Plate Cap’). Although only about 400 TLC-plated EVs currently exist, representing less than 1% of the entire fleet, Revel’s plans (and likely others) to create EV fleets (i.e., hundreds of cars at once) likely pre-empted the TLC to act sooner rather than later. Given (1) the controversial history of Uber/Lyft adding thousands of cars in NYC and (2) the yellow cab industry’s struggles / active bailout discussions with the City - the move to remove the EV exemption doesn’t surprise me. Think about it, hundreds of light blue Tesla “cabs” roaming about Manhattan in the midst of a continuing yellow cab crisis - not a good look. The select paragraphs from the TLC’s announcement regarding the June 22nd meeting seems to support this logic.
Source: NYC TLC
That being said, I know many TLC drivers who currently rent their vehicles may be disappointed by the potential rule change. My guess is many TLC drivers who currently rent cars were waiting for cheaper options and more charging infrastructure before fully committing to an EV. In my opinion, until the yellow cab crisis is resolved, the City and TLC will adopt a policy that seeks to limit the number of for-hire vehicles that can be added. However, in order to encourage EV adoption I wouldn’t be surprised if the City and/or TLC creates an incentive program (i.e., licensing fee waiver).
I know the news above may frustrate some readers, while others may welcome it. In either case, make sure to sign up for the public hearing by Monday, June 21st (the meeting is a virtual Zoom meeting on the 22nd). In addition, you are able to submit comments ahead of the meeting. For details on signing-up and how to submit comments please refer to the TLC announcement.
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