Zero-emission powered Virgin Hyperloop One can run "unplugged"

Published: 13 January 2020 - 9:20 a.m.

The chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based ultra-high-speed transport technology firm Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), Jay Walder, has said that the Dubai port operator DP World-backed rail network will be able to run “completely unplugged from the grid in the Middle East”.

At speeds of more than 1,000km/h, the hyperloop rail network could connect all Gulf cities within one hour, cutting the travel time from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah in 48 minutes.

In addition, the railway tube, which is covered with solar panels, has zero direct emissions and could move close to 45 million passengers per year in the region, according to state news agency, Wam.

Commenting on the technology, Walder said: "We are committed to a massive leap forward to offset the impacts of vehicle, train, and air travel in a way that no current technology can. We estimate that per passenger, hyperloop is 50% more energy-efficient than high-speed rail and up to 10 times more than flying.”

Walder added: “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 in also in line with the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050, and reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%, saving $190.56bn (AED700bn) billion by 2050.

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