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BluSmart to set up EV charging infrastructure projects across India in PPP mode

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  • BluSmart is poised to double its fleet by the end of the year and aims to have more than 100,000 electric vehicles on its platform by 2025.
  • Back in 20221, Jio-BP and BluSmart joined forces to set up EV charging stations in India.
  • According to the company, BluSmart has the largest fleet of electric booths and the largest network of fast charging stations for electric vehicles in Delhi NCR.

As India rides on the EV train and the government promotes various use cases, BluSmart is poised to double its fleet by the end of the year and aims to have more than 100,000 EVs on its platform by 2025.

Rishabh Sood, CTO, BluSmart, told IANS that from a charging infrastructure point of view, the response from both the state and central government has been great and has launched many projects on a PPP basis.

With the ever-growing customer base, Sood added, it is imperative to have BluSmart’s services up and running with no downtime, and for this, the startup relies on various AWS services to build a strong foundation.

Here are excerpts from an interview:

Q: What is BluSmart’s USP? How do you differentiate yourself from other players in the EV fleet landscape?

A: BluSmart is the only ride-collection service in the country that ensures its customers have zero emissions, no peaks, no rejects, and no financial investment from its driver partners.

We believe that the source of our sustainable competitive advantage is that we have built multiple small MOATs around different parts of the business, collectively keeping us ahead.

On the customer side, by solving the core problem of booking rides, cancellations, excessive and unclean cars, we have been able to build a very loyal customer base. This hassle-free experience of zero peaks, zero cancellations and clean cars with courteous drivers that is reached repeatedly every day is starting to become a habit.

On the driver side, by solving the core problem of driver partners’ inability to buy, own and maintain assets, we have been able to build loyalty on the drier partner side, which is hugely important as they are the brand custodians on the road and are the ones that deliver on the brand promise every time.

On the technology side, by solving the core problem that “fuel is a limitation” with EVs as opposed to ICE powered vehicles where ride-hails technology historically didn’t have to worry about the fuel in the car. Building a technology backend that is electric-born and takes a full-stack approach to solving ride-matching at scale that doesn’t require a human to make decisions, and the technology optimally guides drivers from customer pick-up to reaching the destination. nearest EV charging stations while running out of costs.

On the partner ecosystem side, by solving the core problem: having partners who have a purpose and vision that fit each other’s ambitions. With partners such as BP Ventures who have the right global experience in energy and team building.

With partners such as JioBP, a joint venture between Reliance and BP in India, and with the support of India’s largest company in building more EV charging infrastructure. With partners such as Tata Motors, who have decades of automotive experience and have taken the right stance when it comes to EVs and are able to support BluSmart’s growth ambitions.

Q: If India is to achieve its vision of reducing emissions intensity by 45 percent by 2030 and reaching the net-zero target by 2070, EV should go mainstream. What are some of the biggest obstacles you see in India today, be it manufacturing, EV financing, regulation and policy landscape?

A: The country has historically faced supply and delivery challenges in acquiring EVs from leading OEMs across the country due to the semiconductor chip crisis over the past 3 years. As supply chain and semiconductor issues now begin to ease, we are seeing an accelerated move toward vehicle manufacturing and delivery.

We believe that EV production needs to be massively scaled to support the increasing adoption of EVs, which in turn will lead to economies of scale. Also, the entry of established players into the EV industry will provide the common man with a variety of options.

From the charging infrastructure point of view, the response from both the state and central government has been great and many projects have been launched on a PPP basis. We have also partnered with giants such as Jio BP to aid our expansion plans and create more charging infrastructure. Upgrading the charging infrastructure will play a key role in achieving net zero emissions.

Q: Tell us about the scale of your operations/size of your EV fleet in India and your projected growth trajectory over the next 5 years?

A: BluSmart currently operates an electric fleet of over 2,200 EVs on its platform. BluSmart Mobility is the most preferred form of public transport in Delhi NCR, with over 2.5 million electric rides, over 86 million clean miles and over 900,000 app downloads with an app rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 in the past year. It has the largest fleet of electric cabins and the largest network of electric vehicle fast charging stations in Delhi NCR.

On September 26, 2022, BluSmart expanded geographically and started operations in Bengaluru as the second city. BluSmart is poised to double its fleet by the end of the year and aims to have more than 100,000 electric vehicles on our platform by 2025.

Q: What has enabled AWS and cloud technology to do better?

A: AWS is our trusted cloud partner because of its versatile and high-performance ecosystem of diversified services.

With the ever-growing customer base, it is imperative to have BluSmart’s services up and running with no downtime and this is where Amazon CloudWatch helps to pre-emptively learn metric breaches and fix them automatically.

BluSmart uses Amazon Aurora, which is designed for exceptionally high performance and availability on a global scale with full MySQL and PostgreSQL compatibility. We adopted Aurora because it gives us the ability to manage our data at scale without having to worry about maintenance and optimizations.

At BluSmart, every decision we make is based on data, so we wanted a petabyte-scale data warehouse service that makes it easy and cost-effective to analyze data efficiently using existing business intelligence tools. That’s why we decided to go for Amazon Redshift as it provides constant monitoring of operations, logs, auditing and traceability. We discovered significant improvements in cost and performance to improve speed to market and operational efficiency.

During our peak periods, we rely on AWS Autoscaling to handle high volume requests by scaling containers and database read replicas to provide a seamless and exuberant customer experience.

At BluSmart, we are focused on the security of our data, infrastructure and resources, and we rely on several AWS security services to build a strong foundation.

We will continue to explore AWS in the future, adding new features and capabilities along the way.

Q. What business outcomes have you experienced from running on AWS? Provide statistics, if applicable:

A: We have been able to make demand and process performance more efficient by reducing the effort required to manage and monitor the infrastructure ourselves. Without spending time on infrastructure engineering, developers can focus on core product development, allowing us to reach the market faster.

Using autoscaling to efficiently handle the load of peak and non-peak needs by dynamically scaling up and down of cloud infrastructure on an intraday basis delivered a significant cost advantage over maintaining dedicated infrastructure for peak loads .

Furthermore, periodic snapshots, data replication and disaster recovery strategy help us mitigate data and infrastructure risks.

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