Founded in January 2018, BLive is a start-up that offers eco-friendly touring experiences in some of the most beautiful locations in India. Patrons can enjoy the thoughtfully curated guided tours and visit the cultural and heritage spots on the fully equipped smart electric cycles, making it an environment-friendly trip.
BLive is the first of its kind initiative with electric vehicles in the Tourism industry of India. The tours include intimate local experiences, visit tourist spots, information about the culture and heritage, food and beverage arrangements along the joy of riding bikes. The tours are guided by trained locals, hence contributing towards empowerment of the community by creating job opportunities.
BLive came to life when two friends brought together their knowledge, work experiences, and the desire to develop an environmentally friendly idea. Sandeep Mukherjee had an experience of working with the electric vehicle ecosystem in Europe and was looking for ways to enforce the same in India. Samarth Kholkar, a resident of Goa, was concerned about the deteriorating environmental situation in the state, largely caused by the increasing tourism and absence of eco-friendly alternatives. So the keen minds left their jobs and co-founded a company called Arcis Clean Energy to launch BLive in Goa, the first state to be a part of the friendly initiative. Currently, Blive has expanded to the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Pondicherry.
The journey of BLive began with purchasing 30 electric bikes (e-cycles), manufacturing the specifications, and a shop in Panaji. A refurbished ship container became the office. “Building the technology and getting electric bikes was the easy part; building a narrative on the history, finding partners who wanted to be part of heritage tours in Goa was difficult. We spent 10 months creating a platform and a community,” says co-founder Samarth Kholkar.
BLive is dedicated to environmental preservation. A few of the tactics to enforce that are harnessing solar power, reducing plastic and paper waste, and collaborating with local communities to contribute to these e-bike tours. The website allows the customers to curate the tours and avail them on request. The price of the tours starts from Rs. 1500 and range up to Rs. 3000 per person, with a duration varying from 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours starting in either early morning or early evening.
E-Bikes Range of BLive
While these e-bike tours enable a non-polluting way of traveling, one also needs not to worry about the comfort factor. The smart bikes are easy on the knees. The fact that a 70-year-old holds the record of being the oldest rider on the tours is good proof. The starting age to enjoy the rides is 11 years. The tech-savvy bikes are GPS-enabled which eliminates any chance of getting lost in the cities. They are also equipped with an audio commentary which the riders can enjoy while they come across any significant landmark.
A fully charged BLive e-bike goes with a speed of up to 25 KM/PH and can last for a ride of up to 40-50 km. The electric cycles come with digital screens along with an accelerator and pedal assist mode for effortless riding. So you can either choose to pedal like you ride a bicycle or you can accelerate the throttle like on a scooter, or even do both simultaneously to pump up the fun.
BLive tours start at an assigned hub point from where the tourists can pick up the electric bike, meet their tour captain and other group members, and also receive quick training on how to use the bike along with other instructions.
The e-cycles by BLive totally take care of the ergonomic aspect of the rider. While the presence of both throttle and pedal assist mode enables effortless riding, the extra cushioned seat ensures comfort and the tech-savvy features add to the enjoyment. There are also safety features like Electronic disc brakes.
Arcis Clean Energy has become the pioneer by taking this lead in eco-tourism and creating an innovative option for the tourists to be able to discover the places in the greenest and a fun way. Adding an entirely new angle to tourism in India by introducing the eco-friendly mode of transport for touring purposes, the electric cycles have helped in reducing traffic congestion. The founders claim that BLive was able to save almost two tonnes of CO2 emissions after completing over 2000 rides in less than a year of its launch. The company is also working closely with multiple state governments to encourage switching over to electric vehicles for touring in the holiday destinations of the country. This could be a huge step towards reducing carbon footprints. BLive also truly stands for the philosophy of “fun over fuel” and promotes electric vehicles.
EV Duniya Editorial: This article is written by Sanchita Saha
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