On August 12, 2013, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX,
unveiled his much-anticipated preliminary
design for a "Hyperloop" system that he hopes will
revolutionize mass transit and significantly reduce
transportation-related carbon emissions. As Mr. Musk explains,
existing conventional modes of mass transit between cities consist
of three main types, each with its own pro and con matrix:
Rail – expensive, slow, often environmentally
Road – inexpensive, slow, not environmentally
Air – expensive, fast, not environmentally sound
Instead, Mr. Musk is proposing a new mode of transport that
combines the benefits of rail, road, and air without any of their
negative aspects. With its inspiration derived from pneumatic tubes
used to send mail and packages within and between buildings, the
Hyperloop would transport people and cargo between cities inside
low-pressurized tubes travelling at speeds in excess of 1,000
kilometers per hour. The tubes would be elevated on columns and run
between high traffic city pairs that are less than 1,500 kilometers
apart. This would make travelling between cities like Los Angeles
and San Francisco possible in about 30 minutes. Most notably, the
Hyperloop system is emissions-free as it would draw 100% of its
required energy from solar panels mounted across portions of the
The Hyperloop announcement comes less than two months after
President Obama unveiled The President's Climate Action Plan, a
comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that
places a strong emphasis on the transportation sector. In 2011,
transportation in the United States contributed to 28% of the
country's total greenhouse gas emissions, 2nd most behind
electricity generation. In conjunction with developing stringent
fuel economy standards for vehicles and deploying advanced
transportation technologies, the Obama Administration promises to
leverage partnerships between the private and public sector to push
for greener transportation technologies.
Like the United States, Canada has also focused on combating
greenhouse gas emissions by placing a strong emphasis on the
transportation sector. On June 7, 2013, Canada's Environment
Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, announced that the government
is planning to align its transportation emission standards with
that of the United States. The details of these standards will be
developed in consultation with stakeholders.
It will be interesting to see if the United States or Canadian
governments support the development of the Hyperloop should the
technology prove feasible in the near future.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).