Two Dutch provinces go head-to-head in race to host European hyperloop test center


Delft, 3 December 2019 – Today it was announced that the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Zeeland have been selected as final contenders in the race to host the European Hyperloop Center (EHC). Several provinces have shown an interest in this test center for the sustainable hyperloop technology. The aim of this high-speed transport technology is to provide a solution for the growing global amount of passengers and freight. It is expected that the hyperloop can become a sustainable alternative to short-haul flights. 

The EHC is initiated by Dutch developer Hardt Hyperloop. The test center is not only a facility for Hardt Hyperloop, but is also open to developers from all over the world. The EHC will consist of a three kilometer high-speed test track and a research laboratory. Research carried out at the EHC will demonstrate whether or not the hyperloop can become a realistic alternative to short-haul flights. The EHC, which will open in 2022, is expected to become the European center of hyperloop technology.

Up until today four provinces were still in the race to welcome the EHC. Now this has been reduced to just two: Groningen and Zeeland. The decision was taken by a committee of experts. Tim Houter, CEO of Hardt Hyperloop, on the selected contenders: "Groningen and Zeeland both have an interesting bid. We see great opportunities to realize the EHC in either one of them." 

Hyperloop test center boost for province

The provinces concerned are pleased with their candidacy. Jo-Annes de Bat, Provincial Executive for the province of Zeeland: "The hyperloop fits well with our ambitions in terms of sustainability and innovation. Zeeland has been designated by the central government as a living lab for smart mobility; we are testing various new innovative transport options here. Now that we are a step closer to realization, we look forward to meeting all the parties involved as quickly as possible".

On behalf of Groningen, Provincial Executive Mirjam Wulfse commented: "There is a lot of movement in Groningen. We are the youngest city in Europe and we are at the forefront of innovative solutions for major transitions such as energy, agriculture and transport. The university, companies and the authorities are working closely together on this. A test track for the hyperloop fits in perfectly with this ambition."

Hosting the EHC is very popular among provinces because of its effects on the region. An analysis by consultancy firm Berenschot confirms this assumption. The test facility will give the region an economic impulse by, among other things, increased employment and tax revenues. As a European knowledge center for sustainable mobility, the EHC creates an attractive business climate for innovative companies. Berenschot argues that this could lead to the creation of an innovation cluster. The (inter)national attention for the EHC further contributes to the sustainable and progressive image of the region.  

The final decision will be taken next month. Until then, the two remaining provinces will have the opportunity to make their proposal more attractive to the hyperloop developers.

Revolutionary transport technology

The Hyperloop is a promising technology for transporting people and goods. Hyperloop vehicles move autonomously in a tube system by means of a fully electromagnetic propulsion system. The low-pressure tubes provide the ideal conditions for the vehicles to move around in a very energy-efficient manner whilst being protected from the elements. Travelling with the hyperloop is CO2 neutral and also very fast. From Amsterdam it takes just 15 minutes to get to Eindhoven and 50 minutes to get to Frankfurt. The hyperloop has twice the capacity when compared to the current high-speed trains. This technology thereby offers a sustainable solution for the exponentially growing amount of passengers and freight. 

Hardt Hyperloop is the world's leading company in hyperloop transport technology and won the international hyperloop competition launched by Elon Musk in 2017. Hardt Hyperloop is the only company in the world that possesses a technology that allows for vehicles to change lanes without a mechanical switch. This enables vehicles within the hyperloop network to travel directly from their departure station to their destination without stopovers, thereby maximizing convenience and minimizing travel time. Hardt Hyperloop also distinguishes itself by an open ecosystem in which partners are invited to work together to accelerate the development of the technology.