Does Elon Musk still believe in the hyperloop?

The experimental hyperloop tunnel that ran along the premises of SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, has just been dismantled.

The experimental hyperloop tunnel that ran alongside SpaceX HQ in California has just been dismantled to make way for parking spaces for the firm’s employees. This tunnel had been used since 2018 for engineering competitions around this futuristic project presented as the next revolution in transport.

On paper, the hyperloop had everything to seduce. The idea was to circulate “capsules” (pods in English) rather than trains, in a vacuum tube – to reduce air resistance as much as possible. The capsules had to take advantage of magnetic levitation – enough to reach a speed close to that of airplanes.

A project that is no longer progressing

When the entrepreneur initially presented the project, he promised dreams – in particular to rally Los Angeles to San Francisco in barely thirty minutes. Very busy with his other companies, however, Elon Musk preferred not to develop the technology himself. Preferring to promote the creation of an ecosystem of startups.

Initially everything seemed to be going well. Several startups have come together, with even the promise that hyperloop lines will actually be built in the near future. However, for the moment, apart from a few unconvincing tests, the technology has not led to anything really concrete.

The dismantling of this tunnel is therefore a symbol – and seems to denote that Elon Musk himself no longer really believes in technology. This also seems all the more true since a short time ago, the contractor promised to extend this tunnel over a distance of “10 km with a bend”. For now, the info comes from subcontractors.

Hyperloop projects around the world

The firm itself or Elon Musk have not announced anything official. Besides Virgin hyperloop, several startups continue to independently develop the technology. These include TUM Hyperloop, led by a team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich, EuroTube, which is developing a 3.1 km experimental tube in Switzerland.

But also Hyperloop Transportation Technologies in the United States, Transpod (a Franco-Canadian project), DGWHyperloop in India, Hardt Global Mobility in the Netherlands, Zeleros in Spain and Nemovo in Poland — all of which remain, to date, in the development phase. asset. China also seems to be very advanced on the subject. A 2km tunnel is reportedly already being built in Shanxi province at Datong — and an extension to reach a total distance of 15km is apparently already under construction.

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