‘Rent A Tesla’ Startup TREVLS Sued For $764 Grand By The Mall Of America


TREVLS — A rental car company exclusively for Tesla’s has found itself in the defendant seat of a $764k lawsuit from disgruntled landlord the Mall of America.

TREVLS was started by local entrepreneur John Marino in 2017 with only a handful of Tesla’s available and plenty of early interest.  The timing was ripe, the car was hot, and things seemed to be looking on the up-and-up for the novel service riding the ripple made by Elon Musk.

Like the vehicle itself, TREVLS service promised that on-demand high tech touch: real time availability, online ordering, and 24/7 metro delivery without any lengthy human interactions.

And last fall, Marino even singed a deal with the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to become the first car-rental company to offer Tesla’s right the airport, complete with their own rental counter on the third level of Terminal 1-Lindbergh.

Just like the hype of the very car in question, TREVLS allure at $200-$400/day seemed to pass.

 The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal (paywall) is now reporting that the Mall of America (MOA) claims in Minnesota District Court that it’s owed $764,537 for essentially breaking the lease in October when TREVLS closed its presence there:

“Trevls had opened a Tesla rental business at a Mall of America kiosk in early 2018. Marino had additional plans to use the mall as a staging area for a planned second rental outpost at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, scheduled to open in November 2018.

However, Marino said investors felt that the airport and mall were too close to each other, so he shuttered the mall location in October. The mall claims in its lawsuit that Trevls still is liable for $611,000 for the term of its lease, along with about $153,000 in unpaid rent.”

In his defense, Marino the article says “investors pulled out” weeks before the planned airport location and “If they didn’t do that, we’d still be at the Mall of America.”

Marino said TREVLS is still in business as of now but on a limited basis with only few Tesla’s left for rent and no retail presence.