Toronto-based TransPod has released the findings of its Initial Order of Magnitute Analysis, which identifies preliminary costs for building TransPod’s ultra-high-speed hyperloop line between the cities of Toronto and Windsor.
TransPod’s findings revealed that a TransPod hyperloop system will cost 50 per cent less than the projected cost of a high-speed rail line along the same route. According to TransPod, the hyperloop line would also travel four times faster than a high-speed rail line.
“Southwestern Ontario accounts for 50 per cent of the province’s GDP, and developing high-speed transportation for the region will absolutely benefit and strengthen its economic growth and global competitiveness,” said Sebastien Gendron, co-founder and CEO of TransPod. “But we need to future-proof ourselves, and we can’t continue with outdated technology. Countries like China, Japan, and South Korea have already moved past high-speed rail and begun building much faster trains using magnetic levitation – the age of high-speed rail has come and gone, and the technology will soon be obsolete. We strongly urge the Government of Ontario to consider hyperloop feasibility, for its cost efficiency and speed advantages, in its next assessment.”
“We strongly urge the Government of Ontario to consider hyperloop feasibility, for its cost efficiency and speed advantages, in its next assessment.”
To develop its initial cost study for building a hyperloop, TransPod compared its own findings to a study conducted by former federal minister David Collenette, that looked at the projected costs of a high-speed rail line.
The Ontario government invested $15 million for an environmental assessment of its plans for an HSR line along the same Toronto-Windsor corridor.
TransPod’s comparisons indicated that while the total cost for a high-speed rail line would amount to $20.9 billion, a hyperloop line would be $10.3 billion.
TransPod also said that a hyperloop line’s cost per kilometre would be $29 million, while a high-speed rail would cost $55 million per kilometre.
When it comes to the total end-to-end travel time between Toronto and Windsor, TransPod found that a hyperloop line would take significantly less time (30 minutes) than a high-speed rail (two hours).
In its report, TransPod argues that a hyperloop line could come with other benefits, along with cost and speed.
The company said other benefits of a hyperloop line could include environmental sustainability, as TransPod’s technology is powered by renewable energies like solar power. TransPod said a hyperloop line could also alleviate challenges associated with housing affordability and the time it takes to commute between Toronto and Winsdor.
“TransPod’s convenient, ultra-high-speed trips will allow commuters more flexibility on where they can live in relation to where they work.”
“TransPod’s convenient, ultra-high-speed trips will allow commuters more flexibility on where they can live in relation to where they work, by drastically cutting down commute times and helping to realize true urban mobility,” said TransPod in a statement. “This is expected to encourage housing development in the region, and will alleviate housing pressure on larger urban centres like Toronto.”
Overall, TransPod’s initial cost study’s findings serve in the company’s interest as it calls on the Ontario government to consider and assess a hyperloop’s feasability.
“Smart infrastructure can help to alleviate environmental, economic, and even housing concerns, in order to sustain future growth,” said Gendron. “We cannot continue to be laggards, especially in a province whose economic growth and quality of life may potentially have rippling effects across the country. TransPod, would appreciate and welcome the opportunity to work with the Ontario government to assess hyperloop feasibility.”
In November 2016, TransPod secured $20 million in seed funding from Italy-based Angelo Investments to continue supporting its efforts to create a hyperloop. In February of this year, the company partnered with IKOS to provide additional support for the design and development of its hyperloop.
TransPod anticipates its hyperloop system will be commercially viable by 2020.
This story was originally published on BetaKit.