Challenges & Solutions In The EV Commercial Fleet Industry In India: BLive

Abhijeet Singh
23 May 2024
08:30 AM
2 Min Read

Working in the intricacies of the unorganised delivery segment, BLive provides a brand agnostic platform for fleet operators.

Challenges & Solutions In The EV Commercial Fleet Industry In India: BLive mobility outlook

The EV industry is gaining quick traction, but we must remember that the most grip has been attained by the commercial fleet industry. Passenger car owners may complain about range anxiety, but in a segment where most routes can be planned, we see the best adoption in the fleet industry. As the electric vehicle (EV) commercial fleet industry in India is transforming last-mile delivery operations, we had a quick word with Samarth Kholkar, CEO & Co-Founder of BLive, as he candidly discusses the accessibility and affordability challenges, and the innovative solutions his company offers to address these issues.

Unorganised Delivery Segment & Its Challenges

As we discussed the fragmented nature of the delivery segment in India, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas, Kholkar describes how small operators, often with minimal resources, struggle to meet the growing demands of delivery services like Zomato and Swiggy. 'Today, the entire delivery segment is still largely unorganised. People in local areas often operate with just a few vehicles, making it challenging to scale and maintain consistent service quality,' Kholkar explains.

Despite the presence of organised players, the total number of EV fleet operators remains around 60,000-70,000, a minuscule figure compared to the demand. There is a gap between the supply of organised fleet services and the exponential growth of delivery platforms, with Zomato alone expanding its fleet by 15-20% month on month.

Addressing The Value Chain With Integrated Solutions

As a possible solution, BLive's approach to bridging this gap involves creating an integrated EV management platform that addresses the total value chain. Kholkar outlines the current challenges faced by delivery executives and fleet operators, where many new delivery executives lack the credit history and financial stability to afford vehicles, relying instead on fleet operators who rent out two-wheelers.

On the other hand, fleet operators themselves face hurdles. These include procuring vehicles, managing finances, and ensuring efficient fleet management. 'Fleet operators are heavily involved in operations, making it difficult for them to secure demand from major delivery platforms and maintain vehicle uptime,' mentions Kholkar.

EV Management Platform

BLive has developed a comprehensive platform that starts with EV procurement and extends to finance, insurance, and fleet management. 'We provide an integrated super EV customer experience, including leasing options and advanced fleet management tech,' Kholkar notes. This holistic approach ensures fleet operators can manage their vehicles efficiently and offer additional services like charging, spares, and maintenance.

The platform's value proposition is gaining broad acceptance in the market, attracting aspiring fleet operators and helping them overcome operational challenges. The emphasis is on creating micro fleet operators who can own and manage 100-150 EVs without the burden of heavy investments in technology and manpower.

The shift to electric vehicles is accelerating, particularly in metropolitan areas. Kholkar points out that while a significant portion of the delivery fleet still relies on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, the transition to EVs offers substantial benefits, including reduced fuel theft and easier management. 'The scalability issue in the organised fleet sector is partly due to the lack of finance. Even with organised players, EVs are still very small,' he says.

BLive's platform aims to support large and micro fleet operators, providing them with the tools and partnerships needed to thrive. This includes working with various manufacturers and financial institutions to offer the best products and financing options tailored to specific geographies.

Future Prospects

Kholkar envisions significant growth for BLive and the broader EV fleet industry. BLive already has 500 operators on its platform as of now. He highlights the potential for a used EV market as the sector matures, creating opportunities for resale and second-hand EVs. Additionally, the platform's flexibility allows the continuous addition of new services to meet evolving market needs.

With an ambitious target of 10,000 EVs on their platform within the next 12 months, BLive is set to expand its footprint across Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, driven by increasing demand for e-commerce, quick commerce, and hyper-local delivery services. 'The gig economy is projected to grow from two million to eight million workers by 2030, with last-mile delivery being a significant segment,' Kholkar adds.

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