New York City’s Revel hopes to create a 50-unit fleet of Tesla Model 3 taxis, but following a vote from a city agency, the company’s future has been cast into murky water.
On Monday, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Council says it voted to cease issuing for-hire licenses for electric vehicles (EVs), despite the fact that the vote was set to take place on Tuesday, June 22, as reported by New York Post.
Revel, previously an electric scooter company, announced plans in April to launch its 50-Tesla taxi fleet for New York City, following a 2018 cap on new ride-sharing vehicles that exempted EVs and handicap-accessible vehicles.
Tesla Model Y Taxi Fleet Coming to New York City as Part of Pilot Program https://t.co/bdrATwnp4G
— TeslaNorth.com (@RealTeslaNorth) May 7, 2021
According to the council, the group reportedly held a public hearing virtually on the subject prior to the vote on Tuesday, in which they eliminated past exemptions for EVs saying that they could lead to greater traffic congestion.
The council issued a notice on Monday that said, “A public hearing was held virtually by the TLC and the rule was adopted by the Commission at the June 22, 2021 Commission meeting.”
TLC Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk says Revel could still launch its Tesla taxi fleet, but only if it first buys 50 gas vehicles, then swaps them for Teslas.
Revel CEO Frank Reig said such a move would be “the very definition of limiting market competition.”
Despite the council deciding on the elimination of Revel’s exemptions in advance of the Tuesday vote, Reig says the company still plans to deploy its fleet, since it is operating legally.
Reig said, “We are going to be on the streets because we know the law is completely on our side.” Reig continued, “Never in Revel’s history have we operated illegally.”
Zachary Visconti is a writer with a knack for electric vehicles, technology, and climate change. Currently residing in Fort Collins, Colorado, Zach loves his partner, his cat, and a good cup of coffee.