First Hyperloop test centre will be in Groningen, the Netherlands

Europe’s first facility to test hyperloop at high speeds will be built in the Dutch province of Groningen. The EHC will consist of a three kilometre test track, making it the first facility in Europe to test this revolutionary transport system at high speeds. Hyperloop vehicles move autonomously in a tube system by means of a fully electromagnetic propulsion system.

The new European Hyperloop Center (EHC) will be open to hyperloop developers from all over the world. This will promote cooperation, in order to accelerate the development of a technology that could offer a clean alternative to air travel. The EHC will also host a Learning Center that will focus on European standardisation, safety standards and the passenger travel experience. Construction of the EHC will start in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2022. Tests conducted at the EHC will determine whether the hyperloop is a realistic alternative to short-haul flights. Travel by hyperloop is CO2 neutral and can provide a sustainable solution for the growing global number of passengers and amount of freight.

Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop is the initiator of the EHC and aims to accelerate the development of the technology by involving as many parties as possible with specific knowledge. Initial partners include Royal BAM Group, Tata Steel Europe and Royal IHC.

Tim Houter, CEO Hardt Hyperloop, sees the EHC as an open knowledge-sharing ecosystem to encourage collaboration between multiple private and public partners. “With the EHC, we bring all this together to develop a single European system.”

According to the analysis by consultancy firm Berenschot, the EHC will help create an attractive business environment for innovative technology companies. This could lead to the creation of a European knowledge centre that will not only give the region an economic impulse through increased employment and revenues, but also contribute to the progressive image of the region. “The arrival of the EHC fits in seamlessly with our ambitions in innovation and sustainability. Companies, knowledge institutions and governments work closely together in Groningen on the development of smart and green mobility. The hyperloop test track is a wonderful addition to this”, says Mirjan Wulfse, Provincial Executive for the province of Groningen.

The hyperloop is a promising technology for transporting people and goods. Hyperloop vehicles move autonomously in a tube system by means of a fully electromagnetic propulsion system. The low-pressure tubes provide ideal conditions for the vehicles to travel in a very energy-efficient manner, whilst being protected from the elements. Travelling with the hyperloop is CO2 neutral and also very fast. The hyperloop has twice the capacity of current high-speed trains. This technology thereby offers a sustainable solution to challenges posed by the exponentially growing number of passengers and freight.

There are about a dozen companies worldwide engaging in the development of hyperloop systems. Hardt Hyperloop, one of the frontrunners in this domain, won the international hyperloop competition launched by Elon Musk in 2017. It is also the only company in the world that possesses a technology that allows for hyperloop vehicles to change lanes without a mechanical switch. This allows for a hyperloop network in which, as opposed to train travel, vehicles can travel directly from their departure station to their destination without stopping at other stations.

In the coming months, the parties involved and the Dutch Ministries of Infrastructure & Water Management and Economic Affairs & Climate will gather around the table to discuss whether the development of the hyperloop can be accelerated by means of a public-private partnership.

Hardt Hyperloop is the world's leading company in hyperloop transport technology. Hardt Hyperloop was founded in 2016 and is located in Delft, the Netherlands. Hardt Hyperloop's partners include: InnoEnergy, Koolen Industries, Royal BAM Group, Schiphol, Tata Steel, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Deutsche Bahn and IHC.

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