Hyperloop: Travelling between continents in 3hrs will be a reality

29th March 2023
Sheryl Miles

To travel 350km between two cities in 30 minutes could become a reality in the next decade thanks to hyperloop technology, the transport system that combines the best of trains and planes to create a new means of transport.

eMobility Expo World Congress 2023 presented, at its first edition held in Valencia (Spain) from 21—23 March 2023, the advances in hyperloop technology, with a clear commitment to innovation and sustainable mobility. Andrés de León, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, stated that "with the hyperloop, we could connect all continental distances in two to three hours".

Globally, the hyperloop market is already worth more than €2 billion in projects worldwide and is estimated to grow to €800 billion by 2040 and to reach €2 trillion by 2050.

David Pistoni, CEO of Zeleros, presented their transport system that will allow people and goods to be moved at ultra-fast speeds (1,000 kilometres per hour). The Spanish company, which develops hyperloop technologies for sustainable mobility by combining technologies such as the linear motor, levitation system, and aerodynamic propulsion, is also working to make this system scalable and detect application opportunities in other markets.

"We have divided our developments into two platforms: the propulsion system and the magnetic platform. There are great opportunities to include hyperloop technology to help decarbonise the movement of cargo in ports", he said.

Sustainability has been a common element of debate during the first edition of the eMobility Expo World Congress. Indeed, data provided by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies states that transport is responsible for 23% of global CO2 emissions, and the cost of air pollution is 54.1 trillion.

Andrés de León pointed out the creation of a new high-speed transport system that is cost-effective, emission-free and offers a smooth and comfortable experience for passengers. De León also stated that safety and sustainability will be two key elements of the hyperloop.

In the first aspect, the hyperloop works with intelligent constant monitoring sensors built into the capsule and works with very safe passive magnetic levitation. In terms of sustainability, this mode of transport can be defined as a 'net zero' carbon system.

"We put solar panels on top and generate 5—15% more energy than we consume", he explained.

The company, which has a network of 800 partners worldwide, is working on both passenger and cargo applications.

"We have created the first full-scale hyperloop test system in Toulouse, 4 metres in diameter, and we have built the first full-scale passenger capsules", he said. They are now focused on several projects, one in Italy, one in the Great Lakes and one in the harbour of Canada. "The Italian project will drastically accelerate the implementation of the hyperloop worldwide and will probably be a reality between 2026 and 2028", he said.

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