Elon Musk to skip MOVE, India's clean mobility summit to be kicked off by PM

While the government thinktank tried its best to have the maverick entrepreneur behind electric carmaker Tesla attend the summit, it met with no success, according to officials involved with hosting the event.

September 04, 2018 / 03:45 PM IST
Rank 2 | Elon R Musk | Company: SpaceX and Tesla | Net worth: $136 billion | YTD change: Gain by $108 billion (Image: Reuters)

Rank 2 | Elon R Musk | Company: SpaceX and Tesla | Net worth: $136 billion | YTD change: Gain by $108 billion (Image: Reuters)

Elon Musk will not attend MOVE, a first-of-its-kind two-day summit on mobility being organised by Niti Aayog in the national capital.

While the government thinktank tried its best to have the maverick entrepreneur behind electric carmaker Tesla attend the summit, it met with no success, according to officials involved with hosting the event.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the mega event on September 7. The summit is expected to have over 1,200 participants from across the world.

It may be recalled that a few months back, a person had asked Musk on Twitter if he planned to visit India any time. The Tesla chief executive, a prolific user of the social media platform, had replied that he planned to do so this year. And hence the hope and the curiosity that he could use the summit to mark the visit.

Over the past few years, Musk has risen to become one of the world's foremost innovators, starting companies that make electric cars (Tesla) and solar panels (SolarCity), facilitate low-cost space travel (SpaceX) and promote advances in artificial intelligence and neurotechnology. He is also the brainchild behind Hyperloop, the promising technology that aims to make possible aircraft-speed travel in an on-ground pod network.

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Those initiatives have come at a cost. Musk has come under fire from investors in publicly-listed Tesla amid a struggle to raise production. His decisions (a contentious take-private bid that was later called off), controversial public statements and a recent emotional interview, in which he confessed to taking sleeping pills, hint that all may not be well currently with Musk's emotional state of mind.

But much as India probably doesn't figure on Musk’s priority list, the Modi government’s drive towards cleaner mobility and a more energy-efficient ecosystem may just impress him.

India has been at the forefront of implementing its commitment to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. The country is also implementing the world’s largest programme of installing 770 million 20-watt LED bulbs across 100 cities by March 2019.

On the transportation side, the government aims to have only electric vehicles being manufactured by 2030 though that plan hasn’t been concretised as yet.

Also read: PM Modi likely to announce roadmap for electric mobility this week

‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’ is expected to showcase the government’s goals for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth and also speed up India’s transition to a clean energy economy.

Participants include global and Indian leaders from across the mobility sector such as original equipment manufacturers, battery manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers, technology solution providers, representatives from the Indian government as well as foreign governments, various inter-governmental organizations, academia, and policy think tanks.

Research organizations, academia, think tanks and civil society will also be part of the summit. They will come together and engage with key stakeholders within the rapidly transforming global mobility landscape and to evolve a public interest framework.

Issues confronting the emerging ecosystem will be discussed based on thematic papers during the parallel sessions. State-specific subjects will also be discussed to evolve a shared, connected, zero emission and inclusive mobility agenda for the future.
Dhirendra Tripathi
first published: Sep 4, 2018 01:22 pm

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