Almost exactly one year A few days ago we interviewed Revel Founder and CEO Frank Reig when Revel was set to expand into several business areas beyond its initial scope of providing shared electric mopeds. Today, we take another look at how far the startup has come and how far it needs to travel to achieve its stated goal of helping urban cities transition to electric transportation.
Revel started its moped business in New York in 2018, and it has since expanded to Miami, San Francisco and Washington, DC. But if you just heard about the startup for the first time today, you might not even think of it as moped sharing. the society. Over the past year, Revel has focused heavily on building fast-charging hubs for electric vehicles, launching its first “Superhub” in New York last June.
Along the way, the company also launched (and quietly shut down) an e-bike subscription service and launched an all-electric ride service in New York City.
Reig recently told me that the company aims to build 200 fast-charging stations in New York City by the end of this year, “and we’re aiming for hundreds more in 2023 on top of that.” Revel’s ride-sharing business, which currently has 50 Teslas driving around Manhattan, will also grow alongside electric vehicle charging infrastructure, he said.
“The way we think about stations is at scale. Revel isn’t interested in the single charger of a Walgreens. It doesn’t do anything for the city and doesn’t speed up any transition. The only way to drive the adoption of electric vehicles in cities is with a real network of infrastructure, which currently does not exist.Until a company like Revel builds everything, this EV transition is just a lot of marketing and discussions.
We sat down with Reig to talk about Revel’s business, the company’s recent funding from Blackrock, the need to build network stability into its business model, and how the company views profitability.
This interview, part of an ongoing series with founders building transportation companies, has been edited for length and clarity.
TC: It’s been a year since our interview, and Revel feels like a different company now! Back then moped sharing was your core business, but now the focus is on EV charging infrastructure. Do you still intend to expand your moped business?
Frank Reig: We have 6,000 mopeds in four markets, so it’s a big business that generates huge revenue. At this point, we’re kind of waiting for COVID to be officially over until we really start thinking about expanding our micromobility footprint.
That said, some of the mopeds in our fleet are three or four years old. So we start thinking about the next moped technology we want to use. How do we want to think about reinvesting in our markets, in our fleets?
You recently closed a $126 million Series B round led by Blackrock, and much of that money is going towards your EV charging hubs. I believe you said you were going to build another one in New York?
We are building many more in New York.
Everyone is talking about the EV transition. Everyone keeps talking about how automotive OEMs say they’ll never produce another gas-powered vehicle again. They fall on themselves to surpass themselves. No one is talking about where all these vehicles are going to recharge. This story has not changed since last year. If anything, it got worse. The infrastructure is so lacking, especially in some of these big cities like New York.
New York State has passed a law stipulating that all vehicles sold after 2035 must be electric, and 20% of new vehicles sold must be electric by 2025. We have literally millions of vehicles that need to go electric. electric, and there really isn’t a charge in sight, that’s where our strategy comes in.