The Netherlands is in the RaceDecember 28, 2019
On 3 December 2019 it was announced by Hardt Hyperloop that there are two Dutch provinces that are considered for hosting the European Hyperloop Center (EHC). Those are Groningen and Zeeland. After almost three weeks of the decision-making process the company decided to go with Groningen and make it the official host.
Hardt Hyperloop is a Dutch company founded by members of the Delft University competition team who won the international hyperloop competition launched by Elon Musk in 2017. It is also said to be the only company in the world having a technological know-how that enables the pods to change lanes without a mechanical switch.
The idea behind the EHC is to gather all hyperloop developers from different parts of the world wanting to test their projects. It will serve as the first European center of this kind, consisting of a research laboratory and a three kilometre-long test track.
Co-founder and CEO of Hardt Hyperloop, Tim Houter stated: “Implementing a project like hyperloop, of this magnitude, is not something that anyone can tackle alone. Our open, knowledge-sharing ecosystem that encourages collaboration between multiple private and public partners is very important. There is a wealth of knowledge and passion within Europe. With the EHC, we bring all this together to develop a single European system”.
A consultancy company called Berenschot has done some research and found out that the possibility of being a host for the EHS is popular among provinces. It is believed that building the center will significantly increase employment and tax revenues. It would also mean that the region would become more attractive for some innovative companies.
The statement of Groningen’s provincial executive seems to support Berenschot’s findings.
Mirjam Wulfse: “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.”
The construction is supposed to start in autumn of 2020 and it should take less than two years for it to be completed.