The New York City regulators stepped in to block a planned fleet of Tesla taxis in the city, and the reasoning behind the decision is convoluted.
The New York Post reports that Tesla is partnering with EV startup Revel to launch a fleet of 50 Tesla Model Y taxis in New York City. The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) blocked Tesla and Revel from obtaining the necessary licenses for the vehicles on Tuesday – ruling that they should instead buy gas-burning licenses.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, summarized it pretty well on Twitter, saying, “??”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 23, 2021
As reported by the NY Post, the Commission voted five to one that in order to release Revel-branded Teslas, the companies would have to purchase and license 50 internal combustion engine vehicles and then transfer those licenses to electric Model Ys.
“Elon Musk is not the only one baffled by the TLC’s actions yesterday,” Revel CEO Frank Reig told the NY Post after the announcement. It raises a lot of questions to vote on a rule change that delays EVs from hitting the road and threatens jobs – on an election day, two months ahead of a scheduled review.”
Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, TLC Commissioner, said it’s not personal against Revel or Tesla or even against electric vehicles in general. Instead, the decision was based on preventing even more traffic in the city, something that companies like Uber and Lyft tend to make worse. However, it’s not clear why the two types of cars would still be treated any differently.
According to the NY Post, Heredia Jarmoszuk said, ‘It is not sustainable to allow an unlimited number of new vehicles on the road in a city that is all too familiar with traffic jams.’ Having additional cars on our streets will not be tolerated by our city – regardless of whether it is venture capitalists or another corporation.”