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    BluWheelz to invest USD 15 mn in a year to deploy 10,000 EVs

    Electric vehicle fleet provider BluWheelz on Tuesday said it plans to invest up to USD 15 million (about Rs 120 crore) in one year to deploy around 10,000 electric two and three-wheelers for last-mile delivery.

    The company, which launched its EV fleet as a service (EFaS) operations on Tuesday, will initially own the fleet vehicles and provide services to e-commerce, e-grocery, FMCG, logistics, and D2C companies. It will also hire around 11,000 people, mostly as delivery partners, BluWheelz Founder Chanpreet Sethi said.

    ”We’d be putting EV as a fleet wherein we own the vehicle, we have the riders on our payroll, we have the charging companies on an integration pay-as-you-go model, as well as the maintenance and financial companies on our backing,”.

    BluWheelz aims to offer a complete ecosystem, a platform, which would serve the needs of the shipper and will deploy around 10,000 electric two and three-wheelers to offer fleet service for last-mile delivery.

    ”In the start, it is quite a capital-intensive business, asset heavy model, where we’d be employing most of the vehicles,” Sethi said. When asked how much investments the company will make, he said it will be ”between USD 10-15 million in the first year itself”.

    Backed by investors including ex-Coca Cola India President Sanjiv Gupta, the startup is at present self-financed, he said. In terms of manpower, he said the company would hire around 11,000 individuals in next one year, including over 1,000 on the backend and then the riders.

    The company will initially focus on Delhi-NCR and North India before expanding to other markets, he added. Sethi said BluWheelz has tied up with EV maker e-Ashwa for procurement of electric vehicles and is also in talks with four other EV manufacturers for partnership.

    As for customers, he said,” We have already a mandate from (logistics firm) Delhivery and are talking with BigBasket and, Ecom Express.” On the long-term strategy, Sethi said when a critical mass is achieved by around 2025-26, BluWheelz would become an aggregator.

    It will also help all those who would want to change from internal combustion engines to EVs by assisting in getting finances and businesses. Besides, he said the aim is to have 1 lakh vehicles on its platform and expand its reach to smaller towns, tier III and IV cities.