2016 MMC Was Rounded off, Mobility & Future Show Ignited Visions of Future
The first Mobile & Mobility China (MMC) in 2016 was rounded off on August 27th. On its opening day, the Mobility & Future Show aroused widespread interest. Solar vehicles, capsule pipelines or flying cars, which will go into production the first? The organizers interviewed their heads in a thorough way.
1. Capsule Pipelines
Through “capsule pipelines” in the vacuum high-speed, passengers can travel from Beijing to Shanghai in less than one hour and from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes... Since Elon Musk, the “Iron Man,” brought up the concept of “capsule pipelines” (or Hyperloop) in 2013, this new “capsule trains” with an expected speed faster than planes, has been a focus of the whole world.
Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT, was invited to MMC where he made an excellent speech and talked in depth with us about issues including the cost and safety of capsule pipelines, and its launch in China. The cost of capsule pipelines is RMB 100 million yuan/km, while China’s current high speed railway costs 130 million yuan/km on average. With this number, the advantage is obvious. However, the number comes from the preliminary estimate of HTT. The real cost in mass production remains to be seen. After all, there is always a gap between expectation and reality. Dirk also revealed that Hyperloop already had preliminary communication with three Chinese cities but refused to disclose more details. We believe, though, the launch of Hyperloop in China is not far away.
2. Terrafugia Flying Car
Terrafugia is a start-up in Woburn, Massachusetts founded in 2006. After winning the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, it began to collect seed funding. The name, “terrafugia”, a Latin word meaning “escape the earth” Has spoken for itself. Terrafugia’s first project was named “The Transition”, which took about two years to go from prototype design to trial flight. It’s an “automobile” that is allowed to drive on road and can transform between automobile mode and plane mode.
Dagny Dukach, Marketing and Communications Associate of Terrafugia, said in the interview, “users only need to practice and learn the basics like when and where to take off and land safely and how to pull the handle to trigger the parachute system under emergency.” Dagny also mentioned that they hope to launch TF-X, a hybrid flying car with prolonged mileage, in around 2021.
3. Hanergy Solar Car
Speaking of clean energies, none else is more easily accessible than solar energy. In the evening of July 2nd, Hanergy, after its trading was suspended for more than a year, launched four full-solar cars and the corporate’s latest energy strategy. Solar O and Solar A showed up at MMC as is promised. Perhaps what concerns us the most is the mileage those solar power cars can support. According to Gao Weimin, Vice President of Hanergy and CEO of its automotive business division, the four cars drive for 80 km if there are 5 to 6 hours of sunshine per day. However, solar power can be highly affected by airborne dusts and lose 70% of its efficiency. To keep the thin film panels clean, especially in smog days, is hence a huge challenge. Moreover, the cars may not suit South China where raining happens in most days. It seems that the biggest problem for Hanergy is how to solve the mileage issue of their solar cars.