Early next year the Delft-based company Hardt Hyperloop will start a tour around European cities with their mobile experience center. There, consumers will be able to become acquainted with this new way of traveling, whereby passengers are seated in a capsule that is shot through a vacuum tube at a speed of up to a thousand kilometers per hour. That’s what Hardt Hyperloop commercial director Mars Geuze said at the annual Business Booster conference held by InnoEnergy in Paris, InnoEnergy is a European investment company that has already invested 5 million euros in the development of the company from Delft.
Wherever they and their experience center set up, the founders of Hardt Hyperloop hope that the tour will interest municipalities and provinces in investing in the construction of a station platform and perhaps a part of the tube network.
Geuze doesn’t want to reveal which cities Hardt has in mind quite yet. Discussions are still ongoing about where the test site with a 3 km long tube should be built. “We are probably only going to cities where a station platform will be built. They are the ones who are most interested in participating in the project,” Geuze says.
Hardt will only announce which cities the mobile experience center will be set up once it is clear where the test sites will be located. It is likely that it will be installed at central railway stations. This is where the boarding platforms for the hyperloop are expected to be in the future.
InnoEnergy invests in start-ups which focus on sustainable energy. The Hardt Hyperloop should become an alternative for regional flights. According to Hardt, the Hyperloop will use less energy than a train and is as fast as an airplane.
Since the vehicle is electric and moves through a magnetic field, there are no CO2 emissions or other harmful gases.
Clock is ticking
Geuze confirmed that the idea for a hyperloop has been around for more than a hundred years. But now that CO2 emissions will have to be halved in Europe by 2030, the clock is ticking. When Elon Musk first launched the competition a few years ago to design a hyperloop, we all sat down together with a few students in Delft. We then very quickly listed the options and decided that this had to be it. Our concept fitted on the back of a beer mat, so to speak.”
The aim is to have an operational network for the transportation of passengers across Europe within 15 years, states Geuze. Freight transport via the hyperloop should be possible sooner because it is less complex to comply with the safety requirements. After all, no people are involved in that.
According to Geuze, countries from other continents are also expressing interest. We have received requests for information from Saudi Arabia, for instance. They want to know what our standard will look like. Then they don’t have to come up with it themselves.”