Herbert Diess, the current chairman of the board of management of the German motor vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen Group, has said that the carmaker will take the lead over Elon Musk's Tesla by 2025.
During a meeting at the company's headquarters in Germany, Diess said that Tesla will lose its strength trying to ramp up two gigafactories -- one in Austin, Texas and the other in Grunheide, Germany, reports the Daily Mail.
He sees this as an opportunity to take the lead, as Volkswagen is running at full capacity.
"Elon must simultaneously ramp up two highly complex factories in Austin and Grunheide -- and expand production in Shanghai. That will cost him strength," he told workers on Tuesday, as first reported by Financial Times.
"We have to seize this opportunity and catch up quickly -- by 2025 we can be in the lead," he added.
Diess has had his sights set on Tesla for quite some time -- earlier this year he said Volkswagen is capable of selling more electric vehicles than its rival by 2025.
During the presentation, Diess also mentioned that Tesla is weakening and then presented a slide with a meme that showed actor Jason Momoa representing Volkswagen creeping up behind fellow actor Henry Cavill cast as Tesla.
Diess and Musk are friendly outside of the EV race, but the German executive continually notes Tesla as Volkswagen's biggest rival.
Volkswagen sold 4,52,900 electric vehicles worldwide in 2021, while Tesla sold 9,30,422. It is listed fourth when it comes to electric car companies and fifth among the largest EV companies.
Japanese Renesas Electronics Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, on Wednesday announced a strategic partnership with Tata Motors and Tejas Networks Ltd (a Tata Group company) to design, develop and manufacture semiconductor solutions.
The aim is to enhance innovation across electronics systems for the Indian and emerging markets.
Renesas will collaborate with Tejas for implementing next-generation wireless network solutions, including the design and development of semiconductor solutions for radio units (RU) used in telecom networks, from 4G, 5G, to open radio access network (O-RAN) for the 5G era.
Additionally, Renesas and Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) will establish a joint innovation center in Bengaluru.
"We see great potential in collaborating with Renesas in areas like automotive electronics and present and future telecom networks. The collaboration will accelerate our presence in these areas in India as well as globally," said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman, of Tata Sons.
The companies recently announced the next-generation EV Innovation Center (NEVIC), jointly established by Renesas and Tata Group's Tata Elxsi, in March.
The companies will collaborate on developing next-generation automotive electronics to drive leadership performance and scalability for vehicles.
The companies said they aim to roll out products and solutions initially for India and aim to expand their footprint in the global markets.
"This partnership brings two industry-leading companies closer together, creating numerous benefits," said Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas.
"Renesas and Tata will support the acceleration of progress in advanced electronics and its multitudes of applications for the Indian and emerging markets, which sets us both on a path for continued success," he added.
The planned innovation centre in Bengaluru will focus on comprehensive system solutions for the internet of things (IoT), Infrastructure, Industrial and Automotive segments by leveraging Renesas' semiconductor solutions and TCS' industry experience.
Google on Tuesday rolled out Earth Engine, a leading technology for planetary-scale environmental monitoring, to businesses and governments worldwide as an enterprise-grade service through Google Cloud.
Google Earth Engine, which originally was launched to scientists and NGOs in 2010, combines data from hundreds of satellites and earth observation datasets with powerful cloud computing to show timely, accurate, high-resolution insights about the state of the world's habitats and ecosystems -- and how they're changing over time.
The technology will be available free of cost to government researchers, least-developed countries, tribal nations and news organisations. And it will remain available at no cost for non-profit organisations, research scientists, and other impact users for their non-commercial and research projects, Google said in a statement.
Earth Engine will also be available to startups that are a part of the Google for Startups Cloud Programme. Through this initiative, we provide funded startups with access to dedicated mentors, industry experts, product and technical support, and Cloud cost coverage (up to $100,000) for each of the first two years and more.
This technology comes at a time when Earth is facing existential climate threats -- a growing crisis already manifesting in extreme weather events, coupled with the loss of nature resulting from human activities such as deforestation.
Last October, the tech giant announced a preview of Earth Engine in Google Cloud. Since then Google has been working with dozens of companies and organisations across industries -- from consumer packaged goods and insurance companies to agriculture technology and the public sector -- to use Earth Engine's satellite imagery and geospatial data in incredible ways.
This includes Regrow, a company that helps large consumer packaged goods corporations decarbonise their agricultural practices, which started using Earth Engine to report and verify regenerative and sustainable techniques.
Through Earth Engine's analysis of historical and satellite imagery, Regrow could generate granular field data at the state or country levels across millions of acres of farmland around the world.
Further, it also helped SC Johnson, a manufacturer of household cleaning supplies, to develop a publicly accessible, predictive model of when and where mosquito populations are emerging nationwide.
The forecast accounts for billions of individual weather data points and over 60 years of mosquito knowledge in forecasting models.
The increase in prepaid payment instruments transactions could lead to higher than expected growth in wallet transactions and revenue for Paytm, says a Goldman Sachs report
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on June 24 released its 'Payments Vision 2025' report, which talks about the way forward for the Indian digital payments industry. With this comes a big boost for digital payments, which will be a positive for listed players like Paytm.
The RBI expects more than 3x increase in digital payment transactions, an increase in PPI (prepaid payment instruments) transactions by 150 percent, an increase of payment transaction turnover vis-a-vis GDP to 8, an increase in debit card transactions at PoS by 20 percent, card acceptance infrastructure to increase to 250 lakh, increase of registered customer base for mobile-based transactions by 50 percent CAGR and more.
This overall growth will be beneficial for Paytm as it has established itself beyond UPI, and created a full-stack payment ecosystem. Paytm, which introduced India to digital wallets and the QR code, has a host of flexible payment instruments -- Paytm Wallet, Paytm UPI, Paytm Postpaid (Buy Now, Pay Later), Debit Cards, Credit Cards, NetBanking, and EMI and is also a leader in the offline payments market with its devices like Smart PoS and Soundbox.
A Goldman Sachs report dated June 19 notes that this will translate to $98 billion in value of transactions in FY25 (wallet+ cards) vs $39 billion in FY22. Additionally, it is expected that full KYC wallets only will be on UPI rails, where Paytm is a market leader.
"We note that digital wallets formed 77 percent of total PPI transaction value in FY22, a segment where Paytm has 67 percent market share (April 2022). We estimate wallets made up roughly one-third of Paytm's payments revenues in FY22, and a higher than expected growth in wallet transactions could positively impact the market leader Paytm," said the report.
The RBI's vision also states that there will be increased regulations for the fintech sector.
However, companies like Paytm being listed are already aware of regulatory measures and adhering to digital banking guidelines.
So, while it might be disruptive for the industry but it might be immaterial for Paytm.
As cryptocurrencies reel under the global downturn, Chinese state-run newspaper Economic Daily has warned investors that the price of leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin is "heading to zero".
The warning came as the cryptocurrency market continued to face meltdown with Bitcoin hovering around $21,000 per digital coin on Saturday -- a substantial drop from its record high of $68,000 in November last year.
"Bitcoin is nothing more than a string of digital codes, and its returns mainly come from buying low and selling high," the newspaper said.
"In the future, once investors' confidence collapses or when sovereign countries declare bitcoin illegal, it will return to its original value, which is utterly worthless," it added, reports South China Morning Post.
The Chinese government banned Bitcoin mining in July last year.
It has plans to launch its central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the digital Chinese yuan (e-CNY).
The country banned all cryptocurrency transactions last September and barred foreign crypto exchanges from operating within the country in 2018.
The Economic Daily earlier justified China's ban on cryptocurrency trading by taking examples of the collapse of stablecoins terraUSD and luna whose value reached zero.
The price of Bitcoin tumbled to a new low of $17,958 this month, before recovering to over $20,000 this week.
According to analysts, Bitcoin may hit a grim $14,000 this year.
The likely bottom range at $14,000 would represent a drop of around 80 per cent for Bitcoin from the $68,000 all-time high.
According to Coindesk, Bitcoin has historically experienced periods of asymptotic price run-ups followed by steep crashes, "typically played out over several months to two years".
Cryptocurrency watchers refer to these periods as "cycles".
The amount of electricity consumed by the largest cryptocurrency networks has decreased by up to 50 per cent as the "crypto winter" continues to eat at the incomes of "miners" and financial contagion spreads further throughout the sector, media reports said.
The electricity consumption of the bitcoin network has fallen by a third from its high of June 11, down to an annualised 131 terawatt-hours a year, according to estimates from the crypto analyst Digiconomist, The Guardian reported.
That still equates to the annual consumption of Argentina, with a single conventional bitcoin transaction using the same amount of electricity that a typical US household would use over 50 days.
The decrease in electricity used for Ethereum, the "programmable money" that underpins much of the recent explosion in crypto projects, has been sharper still, down from a peak of 94TWh a year to 46TWh a year ? the annualised consumption of Qatar, The Guardian reported.
The underlying reason for the fall is the same for both currencies, however. The electricity consumption of a cryptocurrency network comes from "mining", which involves people using purpose-built computers to generate digital lottery tickets that can reward cryptocurrency payouts. The process underpins the security of the networks, but incentivises the network as a whole to waste extraordinary amounts of energy.
As the price of cryptocurrencies has fallen ? bitcoin peaked at $69,000 (56,000 pounds) earlier this year, and is now hovering at about $20,000 ? the value of the rewards to miners has dropped by the same proportion, leaving them in areas with expensive electricity or using older, inefficient mining "rigs" unable to turn a profit.
"This is literally putting them out of business, starting with the ones that operate with suboptimal equipment or under suboptimal circumstances (eg inefficient cooling)," said Alex de Vries, the Dutch economist behind Digiconomist, The Guardian reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Foxconn's Chairman Young Liu and hailed the company's electronics manufacturing plans in the country.
"Glad to meet Mr. Young Liu, Chairman, Foxconn. I welcome their plans for expanding electronics manufacturing capacity in India, including in semiconductors," Modi said in a tweet.
The Taiwan-based company is also planning to set up an EV manufacturing plant in India.
Foxconn's EV manufacturing arm, Foxtron, is planning to set up manufacturing plants at various locations in southeast Asia, including India.
"Our push for EV manufacturing is in line with our commitment of Net Zero Emission," the prime minister said in the tweet.
Liu also met Akarsh Hebbar, Vedanta Group's Global Managing Director of Display and Semiconductor Business, to discuss next steps for their proposed partnership to manufacture semiconductor chips in the country.
Vedanta and Foxconn signed an MoU in February to form a joint venture company in India.
Vedanta will hold 60 per cent of the equity in the JV while Foxconn will own 40 per cent.
"The Vedanta-Foxconn partnership will, in the coming years, arrest the electronic component import bill of around $100 billion. Vedanta and Foxconn are in discussion with some state governments, to finalise the location of semiconductor units soon," the companies said in a statement.
This is the first joint venture in the electronics manufacturing space after the announcement of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for semiconductors and display manufacturing.
Vedanta is planning to invest around $15 billion in a phase-wise manner over the next 5-10 years to build displays and semiconductor chips in India.
The JV will look at setting up a semiconductor manufacturing plant in the next two years, said the companies.
India, which aims to become a global semiconductor hub in coming years, is set to pump $30 billion into its technology sector to achieve independence on chips so that it isn't "held hostage" to global suppliers.
The Indian government recently announced an outlay of Rs 76,000 crore (around $10 billion), under its production linked incentive (PLI) scheme, separately for the development of a semiconductor and display manufacturing electronics ecosystem.
In the last few years, India has been actively promoting cooperation with Taiwan in trade, investment, tourism, culture, education, and people-to-people exchanges. Both the countries have also constituted teams for the expansion of fruitful collaboration in education and skill development.
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and data utilisation strategy can add $500 billion to India's GDP by 2025, a new Nasscom report showed on Thursday.
The AI adoption in four key sectors -- BFSI, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail, healthcare, and industrials/automotive -- can contribute 60 percent of the total $ 500 billion opportunities, according to "AI Adoption Index" Nasscom, EY and Microsoft, EXL and Capgemini.
Though the current rate of AI investments in India is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8 per cent and poised to reach $881 million by 2023, it will still represent just 2.5 per cent of the total global AI investments of $340 billion.
This creates a massive opportunity for Indian enterprises to accelerate investments and the adoption of AI to drive equitable growth across sectors.
For India to achieve its $1 trillion GDP goal by FY 2026-2027, it needs to have a strong correlation to the maturity of AI adoption, the report noted.
"The pandemic has made it absolutely time-critical for organisations to move from data & technology silos to building specialised AI capabilities at scale across sectors combined with a structured data utilisation strategy," said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom.
With rapidly scaled digitalisation, Indian enterprises have already embarked on their AI journey.
As per the report, 65 percent of organisations have AI strategy defined either at a functional or enterprise level.
With a burgeoning number of STEM graduates and digital natives, India is one of the biggest talent hubs for AI.
India currently is the second-largest global hub in training and hiring AI talent.
"However, rapid growth in AI applications has led to a surge in hiring for AI professionals. While the talent pipeline has grown over the past two years, a rapid jump in talent demand has caused a supply demand gap," said the report.
As per the findings, 44 percent of businesses already have a dedicated or a cross-functional AI team structure, while 25 percent rely fully on outsourcing as their primary source for AI talent.
India's healthcare market has grown 3 times from $110 billion in 2016 to $372 billion in 2022, driven by increasing investments in cutting-edge healthcare technologies.
The use of AI in improving healthcare systems can potentially generate $25 billion of economic value added for India by 2025, the report noted.
In a first such case involving an electric car in India, a Tata Nexon EV caught fire in Mumbai and the company was investigating the incident.
The EV car fire incident was reported from Vasai West (near Panchvati hotel) in Mumbai late on Wednesday, and the video of the Tata Nexon engulfed in fire went viral on social media.
The company said in a statement that "a detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of this isolated incident".
"We will share a detailed response thereafter. We remain committed to the safety of our vehicles and their users," it added.
Tata Nexon EV is the highest selling electric car in India and at least 2,500-3,000 cars are being sold every month in the country.
The company has so far sold over 30,000 Nexon EVs.
According to the video, the owner of the car charged his Nexon EV with a normal slow charger installed at his office.
After driving about 5 km towards his house, he heard some weird sounds from the car and saw flashes of warnings on the dashboard which alerted him to stop the vehicle and get out of the car, media reports said.
Later, firefighters were seen spraying water on the burning Nexon EV.
"This is a first incident after more than 30,000 EVs have cumulatively covered over 1 million km across the country in nearly four years," said the company.
Several electric two-wheelers have caught fires owing to battery explosions in the country, leading the government to launch a probe into the incidents involving EV makers such as Ola Electric, Pure EV, Jitendra EV Tech, Ather Energy and Okinawa.
Global VC firm Accel has announced a new $4 billion later-stage fund to provide expansion capital to promising companies within its own portfolio worldwide, as well as other aspiring firms.
Accel set up local teams and establish a deep presence in exciting regions such as Europe (since 2000) and India (since 2008).
The VC firm has a sizable presence in India and has invested in companies like Flipkart (now Walmart-owned), Freshworks, Swiggy, Spinny, Vedantu, Zetwerk, Infra.Market, Moglix, Browserstack and others.
In March this year, Accel announced its seventh India fund with $650 million.
"Our decades-long experience has also taught us the importance of patience and discipline - especially during periods of volatility and change like we are experiencing today," Accel said in a statement late on Tuesday.
"With that in mind, we are announcing the close of a $4 billion global, later-stage fund. This fund is a critical element in our global strategy," the firm said.
The $4 billion fund also complements its early-stage and growth-stage funds where "we will stay focused on being the first partner to Seed, Series A, and bootstrapped or lightly-capitalized businesses".
Other companies where Accel has invested in include Atlassian (Sydney), Celonis (Munich), Chainalysis (New York), CrowdStrike (Irvine), Slack (Vancouver), Spotify (Stockholm), UiPath (Bucharest) and dozens more.
"Through this prepared approach, we can strip away competing distractions and focus on helping these exceptional teams build defining companies," said the VC firm.
China on Wednesday sent a new satellite into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
The Tianxing-1 test satellite was launched by a Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket at 10:08 a.m. (Beijing Time) and entered the planned orbit, Xinhua news agency reported.
The satellite is mainly used for experiments such as space environment detection.
It was the 15th flight mission of the Kuaizhou-1A rockets, according to the launch center.