Hyperloop One has received $50 million in investments and plans to raise $160 million for aggressive expansion plans.
The company will need that money because the cost of the super-fast transport system may greatly exceed initial estimates, Forbes revealed. Back in 2013, Elon Musk optimistically estimated that Hyperloop would cost around $11.5 million a mile to build, but Hyperloop One documents obtained by Forbes mention a cost of $121 million a mile; or over 10 times Musk’s estimate.
That would be about the same as the cost of California’s controversial high-speed rail project which is projected to cost around $123 million a mile to build. Hyperloop One’s estimates might be higher because they include tunneling which was not in Musk’s proposal.
The estimates apparently prepared by Hyperloop One’s engineers are real, the company’s CEO Rob Lloyd admitted to Forbes. Lloyd said the estimates were prepared with the help of outside accounts.
Hyperloop One is on the Ground in Dubai
Hyperloop One has a team on the ground in Dubai working with that nation’s government, Lloyd told Forbes.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem the CEO and Chairman of the DP World Group of Dubai, the world’s third largest port operator as joined Hyperloop One’s board. DP World and Hyperloop One conducted a feasibility study on the use of Hyperloop to move Hyperloop at ports in August.
Lloyd hopes that the world’s first Hyperloop system will be built in Dubai and used to move cargo containers. The system would be 40 miles long and could be operational as early as 2020. Passenger service would begin about two years later.
Two other high-powered executives have joined Hyperloop. Former Uber Chief Financial Officer Brent Callinicos has joined the company as its financial officer. Callinicos was a treasurer of Google, now Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) in the past.
Ziyavudin Magomedov the chairman of Russia’s Summa Group, a Moscow holding company that invests in port-related operations, oil gas, construction, engineering and telecommunications has also joined Hyperloop One’s board. Magomedov’s fund Caspian VC Partners has been a strategic and early investor in Hyperloop One.
French and Canadian Hyperloop Routes Proposed
Hyperloop One is looking into three new route proposals, one would run from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris. Another would connect the gambling mecca of Monaco and the resort city of Nice with Paris.
Forbes also mentioned a route in the Canadian province of Ontario but revealed no details. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and is home the nation’s largest city; Toronto. A probable route for that Hyperloop might between Toronto and Canada’s capitol; Ottawa.
To help accomplish those projects and get its test track or Devloop up and running by next year, Hyperloop will issue $160 million class C notes. That will undoubtedly mean the first of many funding rounds.
Simply to get a working prototype up and running Hyperloop One will probably need around $1 to $2 billion. The first Hyperloop system will probably cost around $40 billion or more.
It looks as if Hyperloop will be both expensive and a reality in the near future. Those of us want to invest in it will be welcome at companies like Hyperloop One.