Revel Rallies To Keep EV Exemption
Ahead of a NYC TLC meeting on Tuesday, Revel is rallying to keep the EV exemption to the FHV License Pause active. However, there could be other ways the Company launches in NYC
As we reported last week, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) is set to virtually meet at 11:30am tomorrow (Tuesday, June 22nd) to potentially eliminate the EV exemption to the FHV License Pause (aka TLC Plate Cap). The EV exemption allows new for-hire vehicle licenses, capped since the summer of 2018, to be issued to 100% battery electric vehicles. Revel, a Brooklyn-based mobility services startup, is protesting the EV exemption being removed as it interrupts the company’s plans to own and operate its own for-hire NYC rideshare fleet.
The TLC is worried that Revel may add (and inspire other fleets) to add hundreds of additional for-hire vehicles to NYC streets. The full context being the addition of thousands of for-hire cars, which helped fuel Uber and Lyft’s growth, was blamed for increasing congestion in the City. Furthermore, the addition of tens of thousands of for-hire vehicles (FHVs) likely devalued the yellow cab medallion (i.e. impacted a medallion’s perceived ‘scarcity value’). Revel argues that its fleet helps the City’s for-hire fleet transition to an electric future (i.e., good for the environment, not bad). In addition, the Company also argues that its business model employs drivers and offers benefits, including healthcare.
I have two thoughts ahead of the meeting in regards to how Revel can still execute its business plan even if the EV exemption is removed.
Revel can buy a TLC fleet, including yellow cab medallions (at a discount), to launch its initial 50 car rideshare pilot. In addition, the Company can enter into agreements with existing TLC fleets and/or TLC drivers, who own their own vehicles, to launch their service.
If Eric Adams, who appears to be the leading mayoral candidate, is elected there are rumors he would allow an FHV license exemption for individual TLC bases that can show a demand for their service (i.e., a TLC base is legally allowed to dispatch rides in NYC). This is quite technical, but essentially such a rule would allow for the issuance of FHV licenses that would only be able to do a single company’s base work (i.e., the vehicle could not be dispatched for Uber, Lyft, but only the dispatching base it’s registered to (Dial 7, Carmel)). Since Revel is reported to have its own base this could work quite well and allow them to own their own vehicles and launch their service.
Link to ABC NY news report
AutoMarketplace NYC Newsletter is written by Dawood Mian, Founder & CEO of AutoMarketplace. He covers the NYC for-hire transportation industry and related news. Search AutoMarketplace for cars, parts, tires, technicians, body shops, reviews, jobs & more. Find great deals at TLCMKT.COM (new site AutoMarketplace.io to be launched soon, sign-up to the newsletter if you are interested to learn more ahead of launch)