East Coast electric moped startup Revel expands into California


Last year, electric scooters broke through as a mainstream micromobility solution. However, in 2020, a new type of battery-powered personal transport is gaining traction. Specifically, Revel Transit’s electric mopeds are garnering attention as a possible solution for urban gridlock and pollution.

Founded in 2018, the Brooklyn-based startup has established a presence in Texas, Florida, and Washington DC. It’s also received $31.6 million in outside funding. Moreover, Revel went cross-country last week as it entered into discussion with Oakland, California to bring its battery-powered vehicles to the city.

What Makes Revel Special

While a host of micromobility companies are competing for city dwellers’ attention, Revel has distinguished itself via its unique offerings. The firm’s zero-emission mopeds offer riders a higher degree of speed and range than competing products.

After downloading its app, Revel users have to pay a $5 registration fee and verify their license. Then, consumers can ride one of its 200-pound electric vehicles for $1 to start and $.25 per minute. As the firm’s mopeds have a top speed of 30 miles per hour, motorists can get where they want rather quickly.

Besides, as Revel’s vehicles have a range of 60 to 80 miles per charge, riders can use them to transverse considerable distances.

Notably, the startup’s mopeds come equipped with two different size helmets to ensure user and passenger safety. It’s also worth noting that the firm offers free in-person instruction courses for interested consumers. Indeed, those differences from most other micromobility companies might make it a safer option for the public.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study noting that 20 e-scooter riders incurred injuries for every 100,000 rights. Conversely, Revel’s customers have taken 1 million rides, and 99.99 percent occurred without incident. Besides, the company has yet to record a single fatality involving one of its vehicles.

Revel’s Prospects for Success

Although America’s increasingly crowded urban centers need new transportation solutions, there’s no guarantee Revel will succeed. Indeed, many well-funded micromobility companies have encountered difficulties when attempting to scale up.

One consistent problem facing personal transportation firms is equipment costs. The Information reports the majority of e-scooter companies only get a few months of use out of their vehicles. Similarly, some startups have struggled financially because they didn’t have enough resources to deploy fleets of adequate size to meet demand.

In addition, the average e-scooter costs $500-1,000 to manufacture, whereas Revel pays $3,600 for each of its electric mopeds.

That said, the micromobility company has several positive attributes its rivals lack. Because of their more durable construction, Revel intends to get three years out of each of its vehicles. Also, the firm leases its mopeds through a third-party vendor, which allows it to spread its equipment costs over many months.

Furthermore, Revel is taking a measured approach to its expansion. Now available in five areas across the U.S., the firm is in talks to launch in San Francisco and Los Angeles. As such, the company is unlikely to encounter the financial bottlenecks that have hurt some of its contemporaries.

Besides, the startup’s safety record should help it secure regulatory approval as it grows. Also, the weight and size of its vehicles confer the idea that they shouldn’t be abandoned in random inappropriate locations. Therefore, the firm could convince municipalities its offerings won’t become public nuisances the way their predecessors’ products did.

With their greater range, speed, and apparent safety advantages, Revel’s mopeds could easily become the next crossover micromobility sensation.



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