The public debate on sustainability and climate change has been pushing an uncomfortable concept for some time now, one that even the most committed environmental activists have trouble adhering to: air travel is not good for the planet. Most solutions so far, however, have not been popular. Some Countries have introduced extra fees on plane fares, which has both not discouraged travellers and been seen as a way of making everyone but the wealthiest bear the brunt of new environmental policies and essentially shoulder the responsibility of fighting climate change. There is, however, another solution, that is set to provide a faster, cleaner, better alternative to air travel. It’s called Hyperloop and it could be available in Italy in the not-so-distant future.
What is Hyperloop
Hyperloop is a magnetic levitation train that can travel tp to 1223km/h, which could cover the distance between Milan and Bologna in 9 minutes. The first two projects for Hyperloop tracks are expected to be released by the end of the year. This technology, which was first researched by Elon Musk’s team, could be a complete game-changer. There are currently three companies working on developing it, one of which – Hyperloop Transportation Technologies – is led by Italian entertainer and entrepreneur Bibop Gresta.
The sci-fi world of Hyperloop technology
So, how does this technical wonder actually work? Hyperloop trains – like all trains – require bespoke “tracks”, but that’s where the similarities end. Hyperloop train cars are aerodynamic capsules, pushed through tunnels by compressed-air and induction engines. The tunnels are low-pressure pipes, through which the capsules travel without ever touching the ground, stabilised by a magnetic levitation system. This kind of travel produces no friction, which If you have no idea how any of this works, you are not alone. One bit of information that you might want to hold on to, however, is the fact that the whole system is self-sufficient energy-wise. In fact, it produces more energy than it uses, to the point that excess electricity can be stored and re-distributed, making it extra profitable. In fact, according to the existing projects, ROI on Hyperloop tracks is esteemed to be hit in 8 years, whereas the fastest high-speed train project’s ROI is calculated by the century.
The future of transportation?
While there is no official information on where the tracks could be laid and what commercial partners might be interested in investing in the project, this could be the plot-twist that manages to both tackle climate change in a meaningful way and boost international investment in Italy, creating new possibilities for commercial and industrial development.