A large section of people, owning to the extreme weather conditions prefer four-wheelers over two-wheelers for commuting. This, however, has created problems for those who can’t afford a car owing to the difficult market situation. Also, a lot of millennial don’t want to buy a vehicle and prefer ride-hailing services for their daily office commute. While there are some good services in the market, none of them offered electric mobility, which has become need of the hour. We got in touch with Anmol Jaggi, Co-Founder & CEO, BluSmart Mobility, India’s first all-electric cab service provider to understand the business model and how it’s helping reduce carbon emission from the Indian roads.
Tell us about BluSmart and its operations
BluSmart is India’s first all-electric ride hailing platform that is committed to offer reliable, affordable, and sustainable e-mobility and improve the quality of life in India’s megacities. The firm operates a fleet of 400+ electric cars in Delhi NCR and will be expanding to 2500 electric cars in next 1 year. BluSmart completed 16 million+ clean kms and saved 1000+ tonnes of CO2 emissions since launch. We are currently expanding in Delhi NCR and shall expand to other important metros in the country in the coming time. We currently offer rides and rentals and also have a dedicated service at the Delhi’s IGI Airport.
What vehicles are you using and what’s the fleet size?
Our fleet comprises of electric cars ranging from Mahindra E Verito, Tata Tigor EV and Hyundai Kona. BluSmart operates a fleet of 400+ cabs across the Gurugram and parts of Delhi.
You also have your own charging infrastructure. Tell us about it.
We are planning to add 130 fast-charging stations within the next couple of months and aim to reach a network of 20,000 fast charging stations within the next four years. BluSmart currently operates one of the largest EV charging infrastructure in the country, and we have charging hubs at various locations of Gurgaon and Delhi, with two new charging hubs coming up in Dwarka and Vasant Kunj. These charging hubs have the capacity to charge 50-100 cars each using fast and slow chargers. The fast chargers can complete the charging of an EV in 90 minutes and BluSmart has recently opened its EV charging infra to the public as well.
You take on transformation of mobility in the post-COVID world
Covid was definitely a tough time for every industry including mobility, but it has also given every one the time to rethink their business models and the service standards that the people will expect in the post pandemic life. We see that mobility will transform into a whole new experience due to this and BluSmart is at the forefront of leading this change.
Additionally, the Government’s policies and resolution to promote electric vehicles has helped the cause of EV industry even in a Covid impacted year and electric ride-hailing is constantly progressing into one of the favourable commuting forms in urban India. The growing size of mobility in India makes the need of transitioning to electric very critical and Covid has only helped to accelerate the move to electrification.
The road to amelioration can be long and irregular, but not impossible. One of the prime focus should be on next-gen mobility as India is now opening up, and more willing than before, to embrace a 100% electric approach to how it commutes. 2021 can become a landmark year for the Indian EV segment.
Need for e-mobility in daily commute and fleet services
In our view, intracity mobility and daily commute will go through a critical evaluation by the customer who would start incorporating factors like reliability, cleanliness, hygiene, and safety into their decision making. We at BluSmart had always kept the service quality promise as the utmost priority and have deployed the many safety and hygiene efforts to win the trust of our customers for their mobility needs post the lockdown.
For instance, we showcase the driver partner’s vaccination status, body temperature and last time of sanitization on our BluSmart on the app to the customer. All our cabs are sanitized after each ride and have the safety cockpit, and our driver partners open the door for the customers, making them feel welcomed.
What are your expansion plans?
From our existing fleet size of 400+ EVs operating in Delhi NCR, we plan to ramp it up to 700 units in the coming quarter, and then to 2,500+ over the next one year. Over the next four years, the company intends to expand its operations across six metro cities in India, which constitute about 70-80% of all four-wheeled ride-hailing business volume in the country.
Do consumers prefer EVs over regular cabs?
Yes, we have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers. They really like the EV experience as the cabs have a very low NVH level, so the cabin is a lot quieter than that of ICE cars. In-fact, what we are trying to do here is give the customers a taste of traveling in an electric vehicle. 98% of our customers said that they experienced an EV the first time when they sat in a BluSmart. We believe this would only bolster the uptake of EVs in the country.