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Electric Moped Company Revel Bails on Two Wheelers in Full Transition to Taxis

They’re pumping the brakes on mopeds. 

Photo: Revel

They’re pumping the brakes on mopeds. 

The Brooklyn-based company Revel, which launched rentable electric mopeds in 2018, will end the service this month, its founders announced on Friday.

“Mopeds are a huge part of Revel’s story and they’ve offered such a fun way to get around the city. We are grateful to all of you who have been on this journey with us,” Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig said in an email.

Advocates were not pleased.

But the writing had been on the wall for some time. Revel had already pulled out of two other hubs, Washington, D.C. and Miami, last year, and its departure now from both the Big Apple and San Francisco on Nov. 18 officially marks the end of its moped market.

A spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch that its moped ridership had plummeted about 30 percent compared to previous summers, making the service no longer financially sustainable. 

Reig told staffers that “the service has been strained and ridership isn’t what it used to be,” according to the tech publication

The spokesperson declined to comment on the current climate surrounding micro-mobility use in the city, and if the so-called moped crisis played a role in its demise. 

Revel launched at a time when the city was preparing for what it thought would be the dreaded L train shutdown. Its co-founders said they hoped the mopeds would offer New Yorkers a fast, easy way to get around.

“Connecting residents to different forms of public transit, whether you need to get on the J, M, Z, the 7, or the ferry, we think you can take an electric moped to get there,” Reig’s business partner Paul Suhey said at the time.

But since then, the startup that began with a meager 68 two-wheelers in just three neighborhoods in North Brooklyn has been slowly moving away from the micro-mobility space and expanding its footprint of its blue electric taxis. 

In 2021, Revel announced that it was buying 50 Teslas to launch its all-electric cab service in Manhattan. Two years later, the number of Teslas it employees operates on the road has grown exponentially — 500 of them are now available in the city and parts of New Jersey.

Just two days prior to its moped announcement, Revel was snipping the ribbon with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and other city officials on a new fast charging station for electric vehicles in Long Island City — joining a growing number of such charging stations for electric cars on private land across the city. 

“This is not the end of Revel, in fact we are doing more than now ever to help cities achieve their emission reduction goals,” Friday’s email said. "In New York, we have 500 EVs operated by over 1,500 employee drivers delivering rides across all five boroughs."

The company briefly paused service in the five boroughs during the summer of 2020, after three riders died in separate crashes that July. But it shortly resumed after enacting a slew of new safety protocols. In 2021, Revel also added e-bikes to its product line, offering New Yorkers $99 monthly subscriptions for pedal assist e-bikes, manufactured by Wing, the bicycle company. But that reportedly quietly shut down, too.

The shutdown comes as the NYPD and local pols are paying more attention to the alleged safety problems of illegal mopeds, which have become the vehicle of choice for delivery workers. Revel's rentable mopeds were all legal and registered. The company barred users from riding in bike lanes through a geo-fencing system.

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