Maharashtra State Govt signs an agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One with an intent to build hyperloop between Mumabi and Pune

  • Pune-Mumbai Route Will Support 150 Million Passenger Trips Per Year And Help India Boost Its Economic Competitiveness Through High-Speed Transportation Innovation and Job Creation
  • Construction Will Begin With An Operational Demonstration Track

MUMBAI, INDIA, February 18, 2018 — Virgin Hyperloop One today announced the Indian State of Maharashtra’s intent to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai beginning with an operational demonstration track.

Virgin Group Founder and Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Sir Richard Branson announced the Framework Agreement in the presence of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route. This historic signing at the Magnetic Maharashtra event was also attended by Virgin Hyperloop One board members and key investors Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO and Group Chairman of DP World, and Ziyavudin Magomedov, Chairman of Summa Group.

Recognizing the Maharashtra government’s contribution to the country’s economy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “51 per cent of total investments in India have come to Maharashtra, and the state is attracting global investors. The state’s overall development in the past few years is a shining example of change thinking and improving conditions in the country. Maharashtra government was ahead of all other Indian states in terms of infrastructure spend and the state is on its way to achieving its bold vision of a trillion dollar economy.”

“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hyperloop One can help India become a global transportation pioneer and forge a new world-changing industry.”

The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25-minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive megaregion. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route eventually will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and providing citizens with greater opportunities and social and economic mobility. The hyperloop system will also have the potential for the rapid movement of palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune, creating a robust backbone for on-demand deliveries, supply chains, and next-generation logistics.

The Pune-Mumbai route could result in USD $55 billion (INR ₹350,000 crores) in socio-economic benefits (time savings, emissions and accident reduction, operational cost savings, etc.) over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One. The 100% electric, efficient hyperloop system will ease severe expressway congestion and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons annually.

“With Virgin Hyperloop One, we can create a sustainable infrastructure that will enhance the State of Maharashtra’s competitiveness and attract new investment and businesses,” said the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. “The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route will be an economic catalyst for the region and create tens of thousands of jobs for India’s world-class manufacturing, construction, service, and IT sectors and aligns with Make in India initiatives.”

The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will begin with a six-month in-depth feasibility study which will analyze and define the route alignment including environmental impact, the economic and commercial aspects of the route, the regulatory framework, and cost and funding model recommendations. The feasibility study will build upon the findings of the pre-feasibility study signed in November 2017 between the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority and Virgin Hyperloop One.

The project will enter a procurement stage upon the successful completion of the feasibility study to determine the public-private partnership structure. Construction of the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route would commence after procurement and will be completed in two phases, beginning with an operational demonstration track built between two points on the route. The demonstration track will be constructed in two to three years from the signing of the agreement and serve as a platform for testing, certifying, and regulating the system for commercial operations. The second phase will target to complete construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route in five to seven years. Future projects could also extend the route to link central Pune with the New Pune International Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai with Pune’s industrial economic zones.

“The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will ultimately be executed by a public-private partnership which will save taxpayer money while delivering a transport option that will help the State of Maharashtra support economic growth, improve sustainability, and meet the transport demands,” said Kiran Gitte, CEO of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

“We have always believed that India would be a tremendous market for hyperloop. The Pune-Mumbai route is one of the strongest economic cases we have seen to-date,” said Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. “The State of Maharashtra has made a strong commitment to building the first hyperloop route in India. We are looking forward to partnering with the State as well as our partners to make the Pune-Mumbai route a reality.”

For the signing photo, route map, fact sheet, and b-roll click here. Additional media images can be accessed here.

About Virgin Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has built a fully operational hyperloop system. Our team has the world’s leading experts in engineering, technology, and transport project delivery, working in tandem with global partners and investors to make hyperloop a reality, now. Virgin Hyperloop One is backed by key investors including DP WorldCaspian VC Partners (part of Summa Group), Virgin GroupSherpa CapitalAbu Dhabi Capital GroupSNCFGE VenturesFormation 8137 VenturesWTI, among others. For more information, visit www.virginhyperloopone.com.

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Kia Motors to finalize it’s plant location in India by this August

Hyundai’s sister company Kia Motors to zero in on it’s plant location in India by August. Production to start in 2019 with initial capacity of 3 lac vehicles.

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According to Reuters, South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp is expected to pick a site next month for its first factory in India, stepping up plans to start making cars in one of the world’s fast-growing auto markets, two people familiar with the matter said.

The move would enable Kia to leverage the existing supplier base of its affiliate Hyundai Motor Co, India’s second-biggest automaker by sales. The proposed factory would start production in 2019 and eventually have capacity to make 300,000 Kia vehicles a year, one of the people told a major bet for a firm that sold 3.05 million vehicles last year.

The Korean pair, jointly the world’s No.5 carmaker, are chasing new business after missing annual targets in 2015 for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. Their combined sales fell 2 percent in first-half 2016, hit by weakness in markets like China, Russia and Brazil.

India is likely to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020, according to IHS, up from fifth place now, with annual sales nearly doubling to about 5 million vehicles from 2.7 million in 2015.

The size of Kia’s investment has yet to be decided, one of the people said, declining to identify which models will be produced at the factory. Kia is best known as a maker of relatively inexpensive cars, like the Rio sub-compact.

Three sites are under consideration for the plant, and Kia may announce the plan in September after deciding on a location in August, the second person said.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the project was confidential.

The states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have all been wooing Kia, according to two other people with knowledge of the matter. One of the two, an official with the Andhra Pradesh administration, said the state – which neighbors Tamil Nadu, home of Hyundai’s existing plants near Chennai – is the frontrunner.

Kia said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday that it was “continually evaluating potential locations for overseas manufacturing facilities, including India, to secure additional engines for future growth. However, as of now no concrete plans have been finalised.”

MARUTI CHALLENGE?

Hyundai started India production nearly two decades ago and has two factories in India that make cars for the domestic market and for export to Europe and elsewhere.

The firm trails only Maruti Suzuki India Ltd in sales in India, and has an extensive service and dealer network that gives it an advantage over global rivals that have struggled to build market share including General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen.

Kia’s South Korea factories accounted for 57 percent of its sales last year. It also has plants in China, the United States and Slovakia, and its first Mexico factory began production earlier this year.

For the time being most cars sold in India are small. Hyundai sells several low-priced vehicles in the country, which could present a challenge in terms of market positioning for Kia, which would not want to cannibalise Hyundai sales.

Hyundai shares parts and vehicle underpinnings with Kia, which Hyundai bought at the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1998. Differentiating their brands has been a challenge, as they compete in similar segments and markets.

via: Reuters