An international consortium of international business investors has made a multi-million-euro investment in Europe’s first operational hyperloop technology.
The consortium, led by Dutch sustainable energy conglomerate Koolen Industries with support from German investment fund Freigeist Capital, has announced its investment in Hardt Hyperloop, which constructed the first operational hyperloop technology test facility in Europe. Other investors include the EU’s sustainable energy innovation accelerator EIT InnoEnergy. Hyperloop technology, which entails magnetically levitating vehicles travelling through a low pressure loop, where extremely low levels of air resistance mean the vehicles can move at speeds in excess of 1,000km/h, is expected to be worth nearly $6bn (€5.38bn) by 2026.
Koolen Industries CEO Kees Koolen, an early investor in Uber, said: “Hardt Hyperloop, with its unique lane switching technology, will change the way we travel, just like Uber did for personal mobility in cities. High speed, zero-emission hyperloops will enable everyone to participate in the clean energy transition, without having to quit travelling. The hyperloop developed by Hardt is much more than an idea, it is already in a position to offer an affordable and sustainable alternative to the polluting aviation industry.”
Tim Houter, CEO of Hardt Hyperloop, said: “Koolen Industries brings not only money to the table, but also a phenomenal strategic knowledge about how to build a leading company in a new industry. This partnership will pave the way for several big projects that will ensure a successful commercial implementation of our hyperloop solution. It’s great to have such a broad and international group of investors who will help with local developments, as well as having the continued support of our first investors.”
Hardt Hyperloop intends to use the new round of investment to create its European Hyperloop Centre, a 3km testing facility for development and demonstration of hyperloop technology. The company aims to accelerate the development of an affordable EU-wide hyperloop network connecting all the bloc’s major cities, which could see journeys between cities reduced to two hours or less: the journey from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, for example, which currently lasts at least four hours, would be reduced to around 50 minutes.
Hardt Hyperloop CTO Sascha Lamme said: “In this facility we will prove hyperloop technologies at speeds of more than 700 km/h (435 mph). We will also be able to expand our team with more talented people, acquiring investors in future investment rounds, and partnering up with additional companies who will get to join our existing partners such as EIT InnoEnergy, the Dutch and German National Railways, Tata Steel, Royal IHC and Royal BAM Group. Together we are making this world-changing type of mobility a reality.”
Gerben Hilboldt, CTO of Koolen Industries, said: “Hardt Hyperloop’s team successfully realised Europe’s first full-scale operational hyperloop test facility, which is a big step forward for mobility. As a clean energy conglomerate, we are proud to be a part of this future.”