BLive aims to open 100+ EV experience stores by 2023

BLive, India’s digital-first multi-brand EV platform that offers a wide range of EV products and services to customers. The startup currently has over 20 brands listed on its platform, offering an omnichannel experience to its buyers and wants to create awareness, drive accessibility and affordability of EV’s to help enable consumers to switch to electric. It is connecting the Indian consumers with multiple brands on BLive platform by setting up a one-stop shop for all consumer needs.  Sandeep Mukherjee, COO & Cofounder, BLive in a discussion with CXO Today shares about the journey of BLive, EV Industry and more.


  1. How has been the journey of BLive so far?

BLive was founded in the year 2018, when Samarth and I decided to come together to create a sustainability led startup driving adoption of EVs. Prior to this, we had both spent more than 13 years individually, working in companies like IBM Microsoft and Nokia. I had also just come back from Europe, where I had seen a very matured EV market, whereas in India EVs were just making an entry.  So, Samarth and I felt the need to promote sustainable mobility in India.

We identified three key problems slowing down adoption of EVs in India – Awareness, Accessibility, and Affordability. In 2018 information and awareness about EVs was scarce. We realized that people did not understand EVs at all and lacked clarity about electric vehicles. So, to create awareness and give people an opportunity to experience EVs, we launched India’s first EV tourism in partnership with the Govt of Goa.

Our initiative was very well received by people, and we managed to create awareness of EVs and cleaner way of commuting. While our Ebike Tours drove awareness, we created a marketed place to ensure people had access to EVs.  We launched India’s first online multi brand EV marketplace, which successfully sold EVs across 50 cities in less than a year. However, as the lockdown eased, we wanted to provide people with a physical touchpoint to experience Evs. In November 2021 we launched our first multi brand Experience store in Hyderabad.

Today we have around 10 Experience Stores and aim to open 100+ stores in the next year.  Additionally, to accelerate the adoption of EVs in India, BLive offers end-to-end servies such as multi brand and multi category products, expert advisory services, exclusive offers, accessories, and post-sale services and easy finance options, all on a single platform. BLive also is the largest multi brand EV marketplace in India with over 25 brands in the portfolio.


2. What is your take on sustainable mobility in India?

BLive strongly believes that sustainable mobility is the way forward be it for personal usage or commercial. The EV market has also grown in the last few months and people are also looking to switch to EVs. State Governments are also introducing policies and various other initiatives to promote the shift to EVs.  However, focusing on only EVs is not enough, the source of energy also needs to be clean. Additionally, for faster adoption of EVs, we also need to focus on developing charging infrastructure and address pressing issues such as range anxiety, battery maintenance to make the shift easier for people.


3. According to you, what are the challenges faced by EV sector in India?

There are 3 major challenges faced by the EV sector in India – lack of charging infrastructure, High pricing of EVs and lack of penetration of EVs to smaller towns.

Lack of Charging infra causes range anxiety which is also one of the primary deterrents in people adopting EVs.

Provision of charging grids and wider availability of battery charging / swapping stations will help alleviate the issue. Non availability of Easy finance is a barrier in driving ownership. The lack of penetration into smaller tier towns is preventing mass adoption from taking place. BLive is working on all of the above problem areas and creating EV solutions to simplify owning an EV.

Lack of information and awareness is another big challenge that plagues the sector and we at BLive constantly strive to educate the consumer through our platform and our experience stores.


4. How has been the growth of the Indian EV market and what growth do you think the industry can expect in coming years?

 India is one of the world’s largest market for EVs, most of which still remains untapped. Especially in the two-wheeler segment, with many automakers rolling out EVs there has been a significant increase in the penetration of EV in the last two years. As per a recent study, the EV market is expected to be worth around at least USD 200 billion by 2030.

Additionally, there are more than 2 million 2-wheelers sold in India every year, who are potential EV users. Additionally, state Governments are also promoting EV adoption in India through different policies. These efforts are expected to boost the industry in the coming years.  However, as I had mentioned earlier, there are challenges that we need to focus on and address, to ensure that the EV sector sees the expected growth.


5. A lot of focus is put on promoting the EV ecosystem today. Your thoughts on it.

The EV eco system is getting the attention that it deserves. Being a new category, there is a need for awareness and guidance to improve adoption of EVs. Collaboration between all the stakeholders – EV Manufacturers, EV Retail platforms, charging infra providers and financial institutions is of extreme importance to nurture and grow the category. Currently the EV category holds under 5% share of the larger two-wheeler market. So, if we want to achieve a common goal of promoting sustainable mobility then developing a community and supporting each other becomes very essential.


6. Recently, EV’s were in the news for catching fire, do you think this will have an impact on EV startup or EV industry in general.

 It is obvious that people are worried about their safety and likewise there is apprehension in shifting to EVs. However, I do not see any long-term implication on the sales of Electric Vehicles considering the increasing petrol prices and the overall climate change. One also needs to consider that the EV industry is new, and the technology is still evolving. However, at BLive we make sure that all the EBikes offered to our customers through our marketplace and multi brand stores are quality checked by our EV experts to ensure such problems don’t arise.

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