At speeds of over 1000km/h, Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) can connect all Gulf cities within an hour from each other. The system has zero direct emissions and could move close to 45 million passengers per year in the region leveraging solar panels which cover the tube.Jay Walder, chief executive officer at VHO, said, “As cities around the world feel the impacts of climate change, we need viable solutions. Transportation is one of the biggest areas that needs to be addressed. Yet we have seen little progress since the introduction of the railway and commercial air travel. At VHO, 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 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.”
In line with the UAE’s federal ‘Energy Strategy 2050’, VHO’s clean energy solution supports. the strategy’s goals to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 and reduce carbon footprint of power generation by 70 per cent, thus saving AED 700 billion by 2050.
Having already attracted major investors from the UAE, such as VHO’s lead investor, DP World, a hyperloop connection would see passengers travel the region at incredible speeds, cutting the travel time from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah to 48 minutes for example.
In October, VHO announced the results of a strategic study commissioned to build the world’s first extended test and certification hyperloop track in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Virgin Hyperloop One Center of Excellence (CoE), if approved, could create more than 124,000 high-tech local jobs and drive a $4billion increase in KSA GDP by 2030, according the study.