The purported fifth mode of transportation got a new supporter as Posco International Corp., a South Korean construction materials company, will collaborate with Hardt Hyperloop on next generation transportation technology.
Posco International is interested in the hyperloop for two reasons:
- The potential revenues in a new transportation method.
- Hyperloop will complement sustainable and low-cost transportation.
Under the agreement, Posco International will supply steel products for the European Hyperloop Center (EHC), a hub for pod development and testing. The company will also help Hardt with marketing and sales as part of an integrated business partnership.
“In the past, our trading company found business opportunity in existing industries,” said Joo SiBo, CEO of Posco International. “However, from now on, we will meet the challenge to raise a new industry by leading investments. P-INT’L will think outside the box to develop and invest on future green business in creative ways.”
What is the hyperloop?
Hyperloop technology uses magnetic levitation to lift a pod off the track and guide it as it moves, creating a friction-free track. Almost all the air in the tube surrounding the pod is removed to create the same environment found at 200,000 ft above sea level. The combination of the linear motor, magnetic levitation and low-pressure tube reduces drag so that only a small amount of electricity is needed to propel the pod at speeds as high as 670 mph. This could possibly create a more cost-effective system than high-speed rail or airline transportation.
The technology is not only ultra-fast but is reportedly energy-efficient and completely CO2 neutral. This combination is one of the reasons the hyperloop has gained attention in the transportation market as countries look for new ways to meet carbon footprint requirements while providing new ways of traveling for consumers.
However, it is not without its detractors that have called the technology not viable and a waste of resources and funding. This especially became apparent when Virgin Hyperloop said it would no longer support hyperloop for passenger transport and would focus only on cargo pods.
Hardt Hyperloop was formed after winning SpaceX’s hyperloop competition and has recently participated in research and development projects in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium and others for hyperloop technology.
The company was also given the first direct funding investment from the European Union to the tune of $17.4 billion as part of the European Commission’s European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator and will help Hardt to develop the hyperloop in Europe.