BluSmart signs deal with Tata Power; moves to solar power for all EV charging needs – ET Auto

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BluSmart currently operates 35 EV charging hubs across Delhi NCR and Bengaluru, ranging between 40,000 sq ft to 160,000 sq ft, and consuming between 0.7 MW to 2 MW annually.

BluSmart, an all-electric ride-hailing startup, said on Wednesday it will power its fleet of electric cabs with solar energy supplied by Tata Power, marking a key step towards sustainable transportation in India.

As per an agreement between the two companies, BluSmart will receive 30 megawatts (MW) this year from Tata Power that will be used for its entire fleet of 6,000 electric cabs in Delhi NCR and Bengaluru, the Gurugram-based company said in a statement. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The electricity will be sourced from Tata Power’s 200 MW solar plant in Rajasthan. The agreement is for 20 years, with an option to extend by an additional five, BluSmart co-founder Punit Goyal told ET.

BluSmart currently operates 35 EV charging hubs across Delhi NCR and Bengaluru, ranging between 40,000 sq ft to 160,000 sq ft, and consuming between 0.7 MW to 2 MW annually. These hubs can charge between 100 to 400 cabs daily depending on the size.

The 30 MW supply will cover BluSmart’s entire charging needs till March 2025, said Tushar Garg, head of the firm’s charging infrastructure. BluSmart will scale up power consumption in line with fleet expansion with an aim to use another 70 MW of renewable energy over the next 18 months from March 2025.

BluSmart plans to expand its fleet to more than 10,000 cabs over the next two to three quarters, and cross 20,000 cabs by December-end 2025, Goyal said. “Our charging network will be the bedrock on which the ride hailing business will be scaled,” he added.

With this step, the firm will eliminate its Scope 2 emissions, Garg said. “We have always been proud of being a zero-tailpipe emission business, but now we can say that we are a truly zero emission business,” he added.

According to BluSmart, the move to renewable energy would also boost its finances. “In Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka, we pay between INR 4.5 to INR 6.5 per unit of electricity as tariff to charge our EVs, and about 60-70% of that comes from ‘unclean’ sources like thermal power. Under this agreement, that cost will fall below INR 4 per unit,” Garg said.

BluSmart crossed an annual revenue run rate of USD 55 million as of January 2024. It is yet to file FY23 results, but reportedly registered an operating revenue of INR 170 crore in FY23.

Goyal said BluSmart might eventually open up its EV charging infrastructure, which is currently just restricted to its own vehicles, to other fleets. The firm is also open to working with other power providers to charge three-wheeled commercial vehicles in the logistics space, he added, without elaborating.

About 30% of its charging points are used for fast charging that employ both Combined Charging System (CCS) and the DC-001 protocols, while the rest 70% are used for slow charging, Garg said.

ET reported on January 29 that BluSmart had raised USD 25 million from Zurich-based climate finance firm ResponsAbility in a mix of debt and equity funding. At the time, the firm had said it would use the funds to expand its EV charging infrastructure.

  • Published On Feb 21, 2024 at 12:24 PM IST

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