Elon Musk Vs Mukesh Ambani In Energy & Transportation – Free PDF


What’s happening?

  • A battle of the billionaires is unfolding in India between
  • Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani and founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk.
  • Ambani’s Reliance Industries has acquired a US-based transportation company developing pod taxis,
  • That the conglomerate initially invested in three years ago, through its subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures.
  • Reliance started out by acquiring 7% of skyTran in
  • October 2018. Next year, in November 2019,
  • It raised its stake to 17.37%.
  • By April 2020, Reliance put in a third tranche of investment to bring its stake up to 3%.
  • Both skyTran and Musk’s Hyperloop are in the business of making pod taxis.
  • Also called personal rapid transit (PRT), these are a type of small public transport facility that feature small automated vehicles that operate within a network of specially built tracks.
  • Hyperloop and skyTran taxis use the power of magnets to move around at speeds that can theoretically reach upto240 kilometres per hour.

Hyperloop in India

  • Hyperloop, already, has 3 projects in the works within India.
  • One connecting Mumbai to Pune,
  • Another increasing the connectivity to the Bangalore International Airport and
  • The latest endeavour to connect Chandigarh to India’s capital city, New Delhi.

SkyTran in India

  • “SkyTran has developed breakthrough passive magnetic levitation and propulsion technology for implementing personal transportation systems aimed at solving the problem of traffic congestion globally,” Said Reliance in its regulatory filing.
  • The proposed skyTran transportation system will consist of computer-controlled passenger pods, running on its patented Passive Magnetic Levitation technology (PMLT) and “would use cutting edge IT, Telecom, loT and Advanced Materials technologies to transport passengers in a fast, safe, green, and economical manner”.
  • Simply put, it is a driverless personal rapid transit system that runs on a predetermined course using magnetic levitation.

Energy sector- Batteries

  • This comes within days of Ambani announcing that he will make batteries for electric vehicles
  • Ahead of the boom resonating with Musk’s plans with Tesla.
  • While Tesla makes its lionshare of revenue from the actual cars, Musk has invested in energy generation and storage in a big way.
  • Musk had earlier revealed that his company may set up a Gigafactory within India,
  • Once it starts manufacturing electrical vehicles in India.
  • Its office is already set up in Bangalore with plans for a manufacturing plant soon to follow.

Why skyTran vs Hyperloop?

  • The idea to introduce pod taxis in India was led by Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in 2016.

    A year later, in 2017, a panel headed by Indian government’s policy think tank NITI Aayog cleared the ministry’s proposal to test three rapid transport systems using pod taxis.

  • The short-listed candidates were New Zealand’s Metrino Personal Rapid Transit, UK’s Ultra Global PRT and US-based skyTran.
  • Ultra Global uses rubber tyres that run on specially made tracks and Metrino’s pods are suspended from overhead rails.
  • Of the three, skyTran is the only one that uses magnetic levitation to move pod taxis from point to point,
  • Making it the only competitor to Hyperloop’s hopes in India.

Why hyperloop was not short-listed?

  • Rather than typing up with the central government, Hyperloop chose to work on projects with state governments.
  • It has been working with the Maharashtra government to build the world’s first commercial Hyperloop corridor running between Pune and Mumbai.


  • Both of these companies may use magnetically levitating taxis to bet on the future but there is a key difference in the application of their respective technologies.
  • Hyperloop is great for travelling longer distances, more between cities than within the city itself.
  • skyTran, on the other hand, is focused on intra-city transport.

Q) Which of the following was the first India’s Steam Engine?

  1. Deshbandhu
  2. Gandhi
  3. Vayudoot
  4. Sethu Samundram




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