Virgin Hyperloop One plans a $500 million testing center in the Andalusia region of Spain to try out components of its planned pod-through-tube transportation system.
There won’t be a test track at the facility, so the entire assembled hyperloop system won’t be tested, but the technology used to build it will be, the company said Tuesday in a statement announcing Spanish government approval for the project.
The facility is expected to be open by 2020.
It is the first European facility for the company, which said it will receive about 126 million euros in public financing, through loans and grants from Spanish government agencies.
Andalusia is becoming known as a cluster for transportation and aerospace research and development, with more than 9,000 transport and logistics companies and about 20,000 R&D workers already working in the area. The planned facility will be in the village of Bobadilla, in the province of Malaga.
Virgin Hyperloop One said it would likely hire 200-300 high-tech skilled professionals and that the center would spur other job creation by of partners and suppliers in the region.
“With its robust transportation, aerospace, and high-tech sectors in turn paired with outstanding regional talent, Spain is an ideal fit for Virgin Hyperloop One’s Advanced Technology Development and Testing Center,” Rob Lloyd, Virgin Hyperloop One CEO, said in the company’s statement. “By investing in the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One, Spain is extending its long-tradition as an innovative, global transport leader. We are excited to partner with such a forward-thinking country in developing the next generation of transportation.”
Today we announced our deal with Spanish Government Agency @Adif_es to build the first European development facility in Spain’s Andalusian Region! For more info: https://t.co/w4ytmKgMXd pic.twitter.com/jAkoxVEFj7
— Virgin Hyperloop One (@HyperloopOne) August 7, 2018
“For hyperloop to be commercially viable it needs to be safe and reliable – safety is our number-one priority,” said Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Virgin Hyperloop One. “We’ve already been testing and improving our technology for the last four years, including building the only full-scale hyperloop system in the world. Ultimately, the center will help us deliver upon our first projects and scale to meet future demand around the world.”
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