By Gavin Gibbon
CEO Jay Walder has said the transportation network could operate using solar panels
Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) has revealed its venture in the Middle East could operate completely unplugged from the grid.
Transporting close to 45 million passengers per year in the region at speeds of over 1,000km/h, the hyperloop will have the ability to connect all Gulf cities within an hour from each other, and will have zero direct emissions, using solar panels which cover the tube.
Jay Walder, chief executive officer at VHO, said, “We estimate that per passenger, hyperloop is 50 per cent more energy-efficient than high-speed rail and up to 10 times more than flying. As a result, all Gulf cities could be less than an hour away from each other, powered by a zero-emission network that is energy neutral and could be completely unplugged from the grid in the Middle East.”
VHO’s clean energy solution supports the goals of the UAE’s federal ‘Energy Strategy 2050’, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 percent to 50 percent by 2050 and reduce carbon footprint of power generation by 70 percent, saving AED700 billion ($191bn) by 2050.
In April last year, Dubai's giant port operator DP World signed a deal with VHO to create a global firm that will build high-speed cargo delivery systems.
The new company, DP World Cargospeed, will create futuristic transport systems using Hyperloop's tube-based technology to deliver goods and link existing road, rail and air transport infrastructure.
In October last year, VHO announced the results of a strategic study commissioned to build the world’s first extended test and certification hyperloop track in Saudi Arabia.
The Virgin Hyperloop One Centre of Excellence (CoE), if approved, could create more than 124,000 high-tech local jobs and drive a $4bn increase in KSA GDP by 2030, according the study.
VHO is currently participating in this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week until January 18 and is also presenting at the World Future Energy Summit to discuss what it will be like to travel in the 21st century.