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San Francisco Revel Moped ‘Exploded,’ Destroyed Cars

Written by Joe BurnContributors Garrett LeahyPublished Oct. 11, 2022 • 3:00pm
The aftermath of a Revel electric scooter exploding at around 3 a.m. on 9/29 at Oak Street near the Panhandle, San Francisco, Calif. Two cars sustained thousands of dollars of damage but no one was hurt. Revel say they are investigating the incident. | Courtesy Devin Fleharty

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A San Francisco Revel moped allegedly exploded, totalling two parked cars.

The incident happened at around 3 a.m. on Oak Street near the Panhandle on Sept. 29, according to Devin Fleharty, whose car was heavily damaged by the fire.

No one was hurt in the incident, which also destroyed a neighbor’s car. 

Revel mopeds can be reserved via the firm’s app and ridden across the city by anyone with a valid driver’s license. The blue scooters reach speeds of around 30 mph and can carry a passenger. 

Photos of the aftermath show two badly damaged cars, with melted plastic lights and charred belongings, including a fried shoe laying on the ground.

The moped was parked between the two vehicles. Revel say they are investigating the incident. | Courtesy Devin Fleharty

In an email, Revel spokesperson Robert Familiar said: “Revel is investigating this rare incident.”

Revel confirmed the “rare” incident has happened once before in San Francisco, but said it was due to arson and they have not ruled arson out in this incident either. 

Fleharty wrote on Reddit that the moped had “exploded” and melted his and another person’s car. 

“Came home to my car like this after having street parked in front of one of those blue Revel mopeds, melted the back half of the car, filled it with ash, and melted everything I had in the trunk,” Fleharty said on Reddit.

Fleharty is now appealing for witnesses or any footage of the incident so that he can provide it to Revel’s insurance company.

“I honestly just felt lost since I had no information when I came to my car the day after the incident,” said Fleharty. “Revel had only left a small note to call their insurance and just got back [to me] today, and apparently they are still ‘investigating.’”

The aftermath of a Revel electric scooter exploding at around 3 a.m. on 9/29 at Oak Street near the Panhandle. Revel say they are investigating the incident. | Courtesy Devin Fleharty

A police report of the incident seen by The Standard says a firefighter responding to the scene said the fire looked “accidental” and the arson team would not be responding.

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Revel has around 500 electric vehicles available for hire across the city and also operates in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami. 

A video online appears to show a Revel scooter on fire in New York in September 2020, Revel’s spokesperson says that incident was caused by a lit cigarette that ignited trash next to the moped. 

Revel declined to provide moped fire figures but reiterated that moped fires are rare.

A Revel moped as seen in San Francisco’s SoMa on Oct. 11, 2022. | Joe Burn/The Standard

The company launched in SF in fall 2020 and says it has provided half a million zero-emission moped trips in the city since.

San Francisco’s fire department, police department and municipal transportation agency have been contacted for comment.

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Joe Burn can be reached at [email protected]


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