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Moped-share company Revel to build car-charging hub in Brooklyn

Planned site is former Pfizer building

February 3, 2021 Associated Press
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Revel, the company that operates fleets of shared mopeds in several U.S. cities, announced Wednesday that it is building a charging hub for electric vehicles at the former Pfizer building on Flushing Avenue in South Williamsburg this spring.

The charging facility will be the first in a network of car-charging hubs planned for New York City in an effort to promote the use of electric vehicles, company officials, including CEO and co-founder Frank Reig, said in a news release.

The initial charging hub will have 30 stations capable of delivering 100 miles of charge to vehicles in about 20 minutes, the company said.

The charging stations will be available 24 hours a day to drivers of any type of electric vehicle, Revel officials said.

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Founded in Brooklyn in 2018, Revel now operates 5,000 electric mopeds across New York City, Miami, Washington and the San Francisco Bay area.

Revel’s blue electric mopeds are seen in this photo, taken last year in New York. AP file photo by Richard Drew

The company’s expansion into charging stations comes amid renewed efforts in the United States to move away from gasoline-powered cars. 

Officials at General Motors announced last week that they have set a goal of making the vast majority of the company’s vehicles electric by 2035.

Revel suspended service last year after three deaths, but returned to city streets with new rules including a 21-question safety test, the company announced in July. 

“Revel was born and bred in New York City, and we’re proud to relaunch in our hometown with an even better service,” Revel chief executive officer Frank Reig said at the time in a news release announcing the return of the blue scooters.

Two of the three people who died were not wearing helmets, officials said. 

Now, Revel’s rules require riders to provide a selfie of themselves wearing a helmet in order to rent a moped. Before taking their first ride, Revel users will also have to watch an instructional video and take a 21-question safety test, answering each question correctly twice.

In addition to New York, Revel has operated in in Oakland, California; Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. 

In March of the same year, Revel offered free rides for all health care workers and expanding its service area so users can access major hospital centers in an effort to aid New Yorkers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The company increased its range so users could access Maimonides Medical Center, NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Elmhurst Hospital.

“In this difficult time, health care providers have no choice but to go to work,” Revel CEO and co-founder Frank Reig told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We’re proud to offer free rides to these essential workers and an expanded service area that includes major hospital centers in Brooklyn and Queens — Revel’s home.

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