Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Virgin Hyperloop One sees billionaire Branson back Elon Musk's tech

Virgin Hyperloop One sees billionaire Branson back Elon Musk's tech

Building a futuristic hyperloop system won't be cheap, so startup Hyperloop One's surely feeling good today, after it announced billionaire Richard Branson had made an investment in its endeavor.

Not only that, but a new investment from Branson and Virgin Group are bringing about a bit of a name change at the offices of Hyperloop.

Richard Branson (center) stands in front of the Hyperloop at Hyperloop One's test site in Nevada. The company will rebrand as Virgin Hyperloop One.

The Hyperloop will work by loading passengers and cargo into a pod and accelerating gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. With a goal of the pods traveling as high as 700 miles per hour, it could reduce the travel time between Austin and Dallas to around 20 minutes. Earlier this year, the company completed its first test track outside Las Vegas.

"I was very impressed and now look forward to helping turn this cutting-edge engineering into a global passenger service", Branson said.

"From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have always been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people's lives", Branson said in a statement. Tests of Hyperloop One in the desert of Nevada have resulted in speeds of nearly 200mph in recent months. "Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too". And as Branson told CNBC, a loop is only likely to break ground in two to four years if "governments move quickly", a thing governments are rarely known to do.

"Virgin is an iconic brand, and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world", Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar said in a statement.

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