Adopt Sustainable Mobility Solutions For Tourism
Arcis Clean Energy brings together leading technology, EV infrastructure and immersive consumer experience under B: Live — a clean-green and immersive way of discovering Goa on electric vehicles. We speak to the founders on more.
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One of Samarth Kholkar’s fondest memories of growing up in Goa was the weekend swim in clear water. For him, if there was paradise on earth, it was Goa.
Kholkar witnessed the menacing pollution in big cities and saw Goa slowly move in the same direction. He was determined to bring about a change so he reached out to his close friend, now his business partner, Sandeep Mukherjee, to launch Arcis Clean Energy Pvt Limited last year.
“What transpired over innumerable brainstorming sessions and countless cups of coffee was a simple and effective solution – combining clean technology with the joys of tourism,” explained Kholkar, CEO, Arcis Clean Energy.
With Sandeep’s experience in electric vehicles abroad and Samarth’s knowledge of tourism in Goa, the duo created B:Live, India’s first EV Tourism initiative – a clean green and immersive way of discovering Goa on electric vehicles.
Live offers curated tour experience powered by smart electric bikes and driven by the locals. “The idea was to discover hidden gems tucked away in quaint alleys, meeting the locals and reconnecting with the soul of a place. One may return not just with experiences of a trip but also collect memories of a lifetime,” said Mukherjee, COO of Arcis Clean Energy Pvt Limited.
Live offers a selection of four e-cycling tours. The fleet of e-cycles is motor accelerated, manufactured by Gujarat-based LightSpeed Mobility with 25 kmph speed. The bikes are available in three variants — easy bike, adventure bike, and city bike. A GPS-tracked location to a control centre, helps dispatch a rescue vehicle in case of an emergency. The e-hubs for the bikes serve as parking-cum-charging stations (also have solar charging) created from the recycled shipping containers.
The tours are curated by their Experience partner, Make It Happen.
An ‘Escape to Divar Island’ tour is one of the most exhilarating experiences that takes one from the ferry to the island over a scrumptious breakfast with Goan family at their home. The tours range from Rs 1,500–2,500 per person and are 4 hrs long, except the Divar tour (starts at 8am and 3pm), all tours start at 8am, 11am and 3pm. (for details check blive.co.in)
We speak to both the founders about this new EV tourism Initiative. Excerpts:
Tell us about the EV tourism Initiative? How much do you plan to invest in this project?
Samarth: Our goal is to drive adoption of sustainable mobility for tourism. Arcis Tours Pvt Ltd. brings together leading technology, EV infrastructure, and immersive consumers experiences under one brand – B: Live. We have collaborated with Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) to build the country’s first EV Tourism ecosystem. B: Live offers the joy of effortless riding on E-bikes while exploring the local culture, history, and heritage of Goa. These E-bikes are equipped with state-of-the-art features like GPS trackers, battery-powered motor for speeds up to 25kmph and electronic disc brakes for enhanced safety. The tourists and locals can now explore Goa in a clean and non-polluting way.
Sandeep: Our current outlook is to establish the ‘Goa Model’ of EV Tourism which essentially means setting up more eHubs, making more cycles available across and establishing an exemplary service. We plan to have about 500 cycles in the next 3 years across Goa alone, besides growing to other parts of the country. We are looking at an investment of 1 million USD in the same in the coming months.
What are the future marketing initiatives planned with GTDC?
Samarth: GTDC will support us on multiple online and offline marketing initiatives. eBike Tours are part of their “New Tourism Services” and will be promoted extensively. This would be in events, trade shows and sharing their online properties to ensure higher visibility. They would also showcase us at their self-owned hotel properties which are spread across Goa. Beyond the same, a concierge tool has been developed by GTDC which would be used as a single platform to book all new tourism services. The tool will be used in all GTDC residencies and over 100 hotels across Goa so that all in-house guests can book our services.
What has been the investment behind Arcis tours?
Sandeep: We have currently planned to spend close to 2.5 Cr in the first year. These would include the eHub creation, eCycles, the tech platform, Sales & Marketing & operations.
Tell us about your future plans?
Sandeep: We plan to take the concept to more tourist locations after we firm our Goa services. We have identified Pondicherry, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala & Rajasthan as the potential markets to take our EV Tourism platform. We are also evaluating a few international tourist destinations. Over the next 3 years, we will have over 2000 cycles and over 150 eHubs across 4 locations.