Reliance Acquires Majority Stake In Pod Taxi Tech Company

5 Mar 2021  Read 1091 Views

The world is gradually starting to understand how close we are to earth’s destruction if we fail to correct our mistakes, especially after the destructive year of 2020. The reality of climate change has finally hit “home”, and so, global economies have also started taking charge by bringing revolutionary renewable technology to countries.

With solar projects, electronic vehicles and other sustainable energy projects, India has also entered this marathon.

Among all sustainable energy projects in India and across the world, one of the most futuristic energy projects is the renewable energy transportation services. With road traffic on the country roads and subsequent air pollution increasing day by day, the need for eco-friendly transportation, especially public transport, is also growing.

And realizing this growing need and highly opportune future market, Asia's richest man has ventured headfirst into yet another futuristic project. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is now shifting towards the renewable energy space, focusing on greener sources of energy and transportation.

Moving ahead on the trend, according to the latest developments, RIL has increased its shareholding in UK-based skyTran, a company that creates smart and futuristic mobilities solutions.

RIL increases stake in futuristic Pod-Taxi manufacturing company

On February 28, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures (RSBVL), announced that it has acquired an additional equity stake in skyTran Inc. According to the official statement, the extra equity stake was acquired for a consideration of $26.76 million, raising its shareholding to 54.46 percent on a fully diluted basis.

The statement further mentioned that skyTran has created “breakthrough passive magnetic levitation and propulsion technology for implementing personal transportation systems, aimed at solving the problem of traffic congestion globally”.

Reliance has always been ahead of getting into revolutionary projects, and so, taking cognizance of a possible renewable energy boom in India, it has slowly been increasing its stake in skyTran for the past three years.

So, what does SkyTran do?

SkyTran Inc is a UK-based eco-friendly transport manufacturing company that designs futuristic transportation pods and is currently working in India to launch pod-taxi services.  

A concept that looks as if it's coming straight out of the movie StarTrek, a Pod Taxi is a driverless personal rapid transit system, which runs along a pre-decided route either through overhead suspension or magnetic levitation.

In simpler terms, these pod taxis would be like low-flying cars which will run on a predefined track similar to a train track.

It sure seems like the future is near!

Will RIL be the only fish in this pond?

No. RIL’s skyTran is already staring at the face of fierce competition as Elon Musk’s ambitious Hyperloop project has made its way to India and already has three ongoing projects here. Both the Hyperloop and skyTran are involved in making technologically advanced high-speed, non-polluting transport systems, both of which would run on magnetic levitation technology.

However, while the Hyperloop technology will be for long-distance travel between cities, skyTran’s innovation is focused on intra-city transport for regular day-to-day travel. With increased city traffic and congestion, skyTran’s technology could become a seamless and non-polluting mode of transportation in the future.

Is Reliance Industries taking charge of the next Indian “Green Revolution”?

No, we’re not talking about an agricultural revolution; we’re talking about the much-needed shift to renewable and eco-friendly energy sources across the country- Or, to put it simply, the green energy revolution!

Apart from increasing its stakes in futuristic eco-friendly projects such as skyTran, RIL has also recently announced that it would get into manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles. This comes shortly after Elon Musk announced the entry of his electric carmaker Tesla into India. 

Additionally, according to LiveMint, Reliance BP Mobility Ltd (RBML), a joint venture of RIL and UK’s energy major BP Plc, will establish battery swapping stations at its fuel outlets. It has also planned to create a full-stack electrolyzer and fuel cell solutions in India. This will be used to run hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Indian government is also infusing funds into more green energy projects, thus indicating the possible rise of the Indian renewable energy sector.

Mukesh Ambani’s fast march into the eco-friendly energy sector makes it evident that Reliance doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of becoming the market leader of yet another technological revolution in India.

So, do you think Reliance Industries will come out as the undefeated market leader of a whole new business venture yet again?

About the Author: Anuja Khandelwal | 30 Post(s)

Anuja Khandelwal is a finance content writer at Finology. With a bachelor’s degree in Management and a master’s in mass communication and journalism, Anuja started writing blogs as a hobby, which later turned into passion. Together, with her passion for writing and interest in Finance, she wishes to create unique infotainment through her words.

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