Nearly precisely a yr in the past, we interviewed Revel founder and CEO Frank Reig when it was on the cusp of increasing into a number of enterprise strains past its authentic scope of offering shared electrical mopeds. Immediately, we’re taking a re-examination to see how far the startup has come, and the gap it has to cowl to realize its said objective of serving to city cities transition to electrical transport.
Revel began its moped enterprise in New York in 2018, and it has since expanded into Miami, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. However in the event you simply heard in regards to the startup for the primary time immediately, you won’t even consider it as a moped sharing firm. Over the previous yr, Revel has pivoted sharply towards constructing fast-charging hubs for electrical automobiles, launching its first “Superhub”in NYC last June.
Reig not too long ago advised me the corporate is aiming to construct 200 fast-charging stalls in NYC by the tip of this yr, “and we’re taking pictures for a whole lot extra in 2023 on prime of that.” Revel’s ride-hailing enterprise, which presently has 50 Teslas driving round Manhattan, may even develop alongside the EV charging infrastructure, he mentioned.
“The best way we take into consideration stations is at scale. Revel’s not within the one charger at a Walgreens. That doesn’t do something for the town, and it doesn’t speed up any transition. The one strategy to drive EV adoption in cities is with an actual community of infrastructure, which doesn’t exist proper now. Till an organization like Revel builds all of it, this EV transition is simply plenty of advertising and marketing and discuss.”
We sat down with Reig to speak about Revel’s enterprise, the corporate’s latest funding from Blackrock, the necessity to work grid stability into its enterprise mannequin, and the way the corporate thinks about profitability.
This interview, a part of an ongoing collection with founders who’re constructing transportation firms, has been edited for size and readability.
TC: It’s been a yr since our interview, and Revel looks like a unique firm now! Again then, moped sharing was your fundamental enterprise, however now the main target is on EV charging infrastructure. Do you continue to have plans to develop your moped enterprise?
Frank Reig: Now we have 6,000 mopeds throughout 4 markets, so it’s a large enterprise that generates a large quantity of income. At this level, we’re kind of ready for COVID to be over formally till we actually begin to consider increasing our micromobility footprint.
That mentioned, among the mopeds in our fleet are three, 4 years outdated. So we’re beginning to consider the subsequent moped know-how we wish to use. How will we wish to take into consideration reinvesting in our markets, in our fleets?
TC: You latterly closed a $126 million Series B round led by Blackrock, and plenty of that’s going into your EV charging hubs. I imagine you mentioned you’re going to construct one other one in New York?
Reig: We’re constructing many extra in New York.
Everyone retains speaking in regards to the EV transition. Everybody retains speaking about how auto OEMs are saying they’re by no means going to provide one other fuel car once more. They’re falling over themselves to outdo each other. Nobody’s speaking about the place all these automobiles are going to cost. That story has not modified from final yr. If something, it’s gotten worse. Infrastructure is simply so missing, particularly in a few of these large cities like New York.
New York state handed a legislation that mentioned all automobiles bought after 2035 should be electrical, and 20% of latest automobiles bought should be electrical by 2025. We actually have tens of millions of automobiles that have to transition to electrical, and there’s actually no charging in sight, which is the place our technique comes into play.