Hardt Hyperloop still has a relatively long way to go with its concept for vehicles that travel through low-pressure pipes at flight speed, but at the same time the development is in line with the roadmap. That is what CEO of Hardt Hyperloop Tim Houter said during the New Energy Forum. “The hyperloop is a faster, greener, better and smarter solution for future-proof transport.”
The promise: one sustainable metropolis
“In 2050, we will travel across the European continent with the hyperloop as if it were one sustainable metropolis”, Hardt Hyperloop co-founder and CEO kicks off his keynote during the joint event of Hive.Mobility, EnTranCe and New Energy Coalition on June 24, 2021. “In a few tens of minutes you are in cities such as Paris, London or Berlin. Continental supply chains are connected within hours. That is a game changer in logistics: with one distribution center you can supply all of Europe.”
The concept: floating through low-pressure pipes
The founders of Hardt Hyperloop won the SpaceX Hyperloop competition in 2017, launched by creator of the hyperloop concept Elon Musk. “In our version, the vehicles float magnetically and are propelled magnetically through almost airless tubes. As a result, there is never any mechanical contact and there is no friction or wear”, explains Houter.
The advantages: fast and emission-free travel
“The Hardt Hyperloop is a faster, greener, better and smarter solution for future-proof transport”, Houter argues. It is faster than short-haul flights: the maximum speed is 700 km/h and you can board a vehicle directly at the station. If the hyperloop is powered by green power, the emissions are zero. According to the CEO, the hyperloop is better because of its high reliability and because it is easy to implement in the current environment: the tubes can be placed on concrete columns in the central reservation of roads. Finally, the hyperloop is smarter because travellers never have intermediate stops.
The roadmap: first the European Hyperloop Center
In 2019, Hardt opened Europe’s first test facility. The next step, Houter outlines, is the realization of the European Hyperloop Center in Meerstad in Groningen. In this test facility, with a test track of 2.6 kilometres, all technological concepts can be fully proven and demonstrated. In addition, this center is working on a certification for a freight transport system and wants to contribute to the validation of EU hyperloop standards, which should ensure a safe and interoperable European hyperloop network.
According to the schedule, the first pilot route between Amsterdam and Rotterdam will be put into operation around 2026 – initially only for goods due to safety restrictions and regulations. “We may already be able to transport people with the hyperloop before the end of the decade, we are already well on the way with the roadmap. If all that works, we can grow into a European hyperloop network”, says Houter.
The obstacles: realizing an ecosystem
“The biggest obstacles are not technological in nature. The hyperloop is a combination of existing and proven technologies, such as magnetic levitation, tubes through the landscape and vacuum. The risks are also manageable because the hyperloop goes through a tube. The biggest challenges are precisely realizing an ecosystem with different companies and governments, as well as getting support from the EU to ensure that everyone is on the same page“, says the CEO. Special: The Netherlands is the first and as yet the only country to have such a public-private partnership – and therefore an innovation ecosystem – with the Hyperloop Development Program.
The costs: 10 cents per kilometre
The construction costs of the hyperloop are on average around 30 million euros per kilometre. Houter: “That is comparable or slightly cheaper than high-speed rail. For the traveller it will cost an estimated 10 cents per kilometre. Amsterdam-Groningen will cost about 20 euros and a ticket to Barcelona about 160 euros.”
Watch the complete keynote of Tim Houter during the New Energy Forum (in Dutch) below.
About the New Energy Forum
On Thursday 24 June 2021, a new annual festival about energy transition and sustainable mobility took place: the New Energy Forum. During this hybrid festival, day chairman Diederik Jekel took visitors and viewers into the smart, new world of energy and mobility. The festival is an initiative of Hive.Mobility, EnTranCe Center of Expertise Energy of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and New Energy Coalition and is set up to show visitors the latest developments, share knowledge and offer inspiration. All program components of this year can be viewed via www.newenergyforum.nl.