BluSmart, the electric cab service provider, on Monday announced that it has started operations in certain areas in Bengaluru, after being Delhi NCR-focused. This comes months after the company raised $25 million from bp ventures – British oil company’s investment arm – and others to expand its presence in India.
The EV cab player’s entry into the city comes at a time when Ola and Uber have largely enjoyed a duopoly but have been facing the ire of customers, on a range of issues, especially on how surge pricing was calculated. Recently, the competition commission of India (CCI) directed cab aggregators to formulate clear and transparent policy on surge pricing, provide a detailed break-up of the fares, among other things.
BluSmart promises zero cancellations, on-time rides and no surge fee. The company’s website said it reaches before or on-time for 97% of its trips and its drivers do not have a cancel button.
The Deepika Padukone-backed EV cab company did not disclose how many EV cabs it has deployed in the city at the moment. In total, it has a fleet size of 2,200 cars and targets to have more than 5,000 by end of this year. It then hopes to 30,000 EV cabs by end of 2023.
In June, Tata Motors signed an agreement with BluSmart to deliver 10,000 XPRES T EVs, the biggest EV fleet order in India, so far. Its fleet also includes EVs from MG Motors, owned by Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp and China’s BYD Co.
Interestingly, BluSmart operates its own cars by hiring drivers, unlike Uber and Ola where drivers own the cars.
“BluSmart is committed to increasing its robust, competitive presence throughout megacities in the country, and Bengaluru is the perfect fit. We are poised to offer the best customer experience for commuters in the city as we intend to clear any hassles that arise from booking a cab, to enjoying the ride and reaching the destination effortlessly. BluSmart is creating inclusive and equitable economic opportunities for driver partners who can drive and earn without the hassles of asset ownership,” said Anmol Singh Jaggi, CEO and co-founder, BluSmart.
The ride-hailing market size will grow from current $20 billion to $90 billion by 2030 across mega cities of India, the company’s website said. Apart from Uber and Ola, Myn and Meru are other players in the space.