Virgin Hyperloop One gets Branson backing

Hyperloop One is to be renamed Virgin Hyperloop One after Richard Branson became a major investor and joined its board. The Hyperloop system is a vacuum tube through which pods carrying people and goods can travel at 670 miles per hour.

Branson said of Hyperloop One, “After visiting Hyperloop One’s test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this ground-breaking technology will change transport as we know it and dramatically cut journey times.”

Josh Giegel, co-founder and president of engineering of Hyperloop One, said: “The combination of our proven technology and Virgin’s expertise in transport, operations, safety and passenger experience will accelerate the commercialization phase of our company’s development.”

The hyperloop system is one where the pod uses a linear electric motor that drives it through a vacuum tube. It floats above the track using a mag-lev system. The hyperloop glides at airline speeds for long distances due to the lack of air in the tube.

Virgin Hyperloop One believe that the capital and operational costs of the system are 66% of that of a high speed rail line. The company aims to have one fully operational by 2021. It was originally conceptualised by Tesla’s Elon Musk who has an open source deal between the competing companies developing the idea into reality.

True to Elon Musk’s dreams, if the hyperloop is run on renewable sourced electricity it could be carbon neutral. Virgin Hyperloop One claims a lot of interest from governments and the private sector after its first tests in Nevada this summer.

Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One, said: “Virgin is an iconic brand and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world.”
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