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From EV Batteries To Pod Taxis: India's Richest Man Seems To Prepare For The Elon Musk Challenge

From EV Batteries To Pod Taxis: India's Richest Man Seems To Prepare For The Elon Musk Challenge

Elon Musk could face a stiff challenge from India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani as Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) founder intensifies focus on expanding his business in the South Asian nation.

What Happened: Ambani’s Reliance Industries said Sunday it has acquired a majority stake in skyTran Inc., a U.S.-based transportation company that competes with Musk’s Hyperloop in making pod taxis. Reliance Industries made the acquisition through its subsidiary, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures.

See also: How to Invest in the Indian Stock Market

The proposed skyTran transportation systems will feature computer-controlled passenger pods running on patented passive magnetic levitation and propulsion technology to transport passengers. The pods are expected to attain speeds of up to 240 kilometers per hour.

Why It Matters: The two billionaires are also expected to compete against each other in the field of electric vehicles. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a buzz around Tesla’s India entry.

Tesla is reportedly planning to set up an electric car manufacturing unit in Karnataka, India. Local media outlets and Reuters reported Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa as confirming the news in a statement in February.

See Also: Tesla Could Use Its Indian Factory As An Export Base, Analyst Says

Ambani has reportedly said he will make batteries for electric vehicles in India as he expects to capitalize on an expected boom in the EV segment in the country. The Indian billionaire is making a strategic shift towards renewable energy as Reliance Industries currently generates a major part of its revenues from fossil fuels and its by-products.

While Tesla garners the lion’s shares of its revenue from selling electric cars, Musk too is making huge investments in the production of batteries and solar panels.

Price Movement: Tesla shares closed almost 1% lower at $675.50 on Friday.

Photo by World Economic Forum on Flickr


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