India is unlikely to go in for hyperloop technology for ultra-high-speed trains in the near future as the technology is at a ‘very low level of maturity’ and may not be economically viable at the current point, MP said NITI Aayog VK Saraswat on. Sunday.
Saraswat, who heads a committee to explore the technological and commercial viability of the Virgin Hyperloop technology, said several foreign companies have shown interest in bringing the technology to India.
“Hyperloop technology as far as we are concerned, we found that the offer that came from foreign countries are not very viable options. They are at a very low level of technological maturity,” he told PTI in an interview.
Hyperloop is a high-speed train, which runs in a vacuum in a tube. The technology has been proposed by Elon Musk, who is behind the electric car company Tesla and the commercial space transportation company SpaceX. “So we haven’t given much importance to that and so far, it’s just a study program. I don’t expect hyperloop to enter our transportation framework anytime soon,” he said.
A hyperloop test run was conducted on November 9, 2020
The Virgin Hyperloop test run was carried out on November 9, 2020, on a 500-meter track in Las Vegas in the United States with a pod, as the hyperloop vehicles are called, traveling with passengers, including an Indian, inside a tube enclosed by more. than 161 km/h.
According to Saraswat, the offers that came are at a very low level of maturity and “we cannot invest in that kind of technology.”
Virgin Hyperloop is among a handful of companies trying to build such a passenger travel system. Maharashtra considered Hyperloop to be a public infrastructure exercise and approved the Virgin Hyperloop-DP Global Consortium as the original project proponent for the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project.
Responding to a question on India’s dependence on lithium imports from China, Saraswat said as of today, the production of lithium-ion batteries in India is very low, hence the dependence on import of batteries from China and other sources.
“But mostly it is from China because of the competition the Chinese batteries are cheaper,” he said.
Pointing out that India has given incentives to set up battery manufacturing facilities in the country, Saraswat said, “Hopefully, next year, you will have a few business houses going into large-scale production for battery manufacturing lithium-ion in the country.”
Import of lithium-ion battery from China
About 75 percent of lithium-ion imports come from China. On reports that India was talking to Chile and Bolivia about exploiting lithium mining, Saraswat said there was a suggestion that India should go for certain mining facilities in Chile, Argentina and elsewhere.
“And what has happened is that apart from the government going directly to these countries and acquiring mines, our private sector has already signed business-to-business agreements with some of the companies in these countries and have already secured a supply chain agreement to obtain lithium. from these centers.”
Chile has the most lithium reserves, and is the second largest global lithium producer. To a query on the government promoting methanol as an alternative fuel, Saraswat said, “We have been able to complete our trials of blending 15 per methanol in diesel.” He said that all the trials conducted with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Ashok Leyland were successful.
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