Revel Founder Frank Reig A Year Later On Driving EV Adoption in Big Cities

Revel Founder Frank Reig A Year Later On Driving EV Adoption in Big Cities

Nearly precisely a year ago, when Revel was just beginning to branch out beyond its initial focus on renting out electric mopeds, we spoke with founder and CEO Frank Reig. We’re taking another look at the startup today to see how far it’s gone and how far it still has to go to fulfill its claimed mission of assisting urban communities in making the switch to electric transportation. In 2018, Revel launched their moped operation in New York; since then, it has grown to include Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. However, you might not even consider it a moped sharing firm if you only learned about the startup today.

Revel has made a major shift in the previous year toward developing hubs for fast-charging electric vehicles, introducing its first “Superhub” in NYC last June. The business also began (and secretly ended) an e-bike subscription service along the road and developed an all-electric ride-hailing service in NYC. In a recent interview, Reig stated, “We’re looking for hundreds more in 2023 on top of that.” The business plans to construct 200 fast-charging stations in NYC by the end of this year. According to him, Revel’s ride-hailing company, which has 50 Teslas already operating throughout Manhattan, will develop alongside the EV charging network.

“We approach stations from a scale-based perspective. The single charger at a Walgreens is of little relevance to Revel. That has no positive effects on the city and doesn’t quicken the process of change. A true infrastructural network, which does not yet exist, is required to promote EV adoption in cities. This move to electric vehicles is just a lot of marketing and hype until a firm like Revel builds it all. 

Reig sat down with us to discuss Revel’s operations, the recent financing the firm received from Blackrock, the necessity of incorporating grid stability into its business model, and how the company views profitability. This conversation, which is a part of a series with founders of transportation businesses, has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

TC: Revel feels like a different organization today after our interview a year ago! Your primary company was renting out mopeds back then, but today the emphasis is on EV charging infrastructure. Do you still intend to grow your moped company? Reig, Frank we operate a significant business that brings in a sizable sum of money since we have 6,000 mopeds spread throughout four marketplaces. Currently, we’re sort of waiting for COVID to end formally before we start to seriously consider increasing our micromobility footprint.

Nevertheless, a few of the mopeds in our fleet are three or four years old. As a result, we are beginning to consider the next moped technology we want to employ. How should we approach reinvesting in our fleets and in our markets? A large portion of the $126 million Series B investment you recently concluded, which was headed by Blackrock, is going toward your EV charging stations. You intend to construct another one in New York, I think you mentioned.

In New York, we’re constructing a lot more. The switch to EVs is a topic that keeps coming up. Everyone keeps mentioning how auto OEMs have declared they won’t ever make another gas-powered vehicle. They are attempting to outdo one another at every turn. Nobody is discussing where all of these automobiles will be charged. It is the same story as last year. It’s really become worse. Particularly in some of these large cities like New York, the infrastructure is sorely insufficient. According to a rule issued by the state of New York, 20 percent of all new cars sold must be electric by 2025 and all vehicles sold after 2035 must be electric. Our method is necessary because we need to convert millions of automobiles to electric and there aren’t any charging stations wherever to be found.