Will Hyperloop deal see Musk and Branson go head-to-head?
The high speed vacuum-tube transit technology, Hyperloop One, has been renamed following an undisclosed investment by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The project will now be known as Virgin Hyperloop One.
In a statement on the Virgin website, Branson commented: “We are delighted to announce Virgin Group’s investment in Hyperloop One – the world’s most revolutionary train service. This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground. At the same time we have also agreed to rebrand the company as Virgin Hyperloop One.
“Ever since our creation, Virgin has been known for disruption and investing in innovative companies. From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have long been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people’s lives. This is just the latest example. Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuring it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too.”
Speaking about the deal on CNBC (below), Branson added: “We could start building in as soon as two years - between two and four years if governments move quickly. They can get to the front of the queue.”
Government support would no doubt accelerate the project, in what is looking likely to be a very competitive market, which includes companies such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and the man who first came up with the Hyperloop concept, Tesla boss Elon Musk, and his ‘Boring Company’.
The technology for Hyperloop One is currently in the early stages of the commercialisation phase after the successful completion of the world's first full scale hyperloop systems test at a DevLoop site outside Las Vegas.
Branson added: “Earlier this summer I was fortunate to visit the site and see first-hand the exciting technology being tested. I was very impressed and now look forward to helping turn this cutting edge engineering into a global passenger service.”