The Hyperloop transportation system, the concept that was first popularized back in 2013 by Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk, is a high-speed way of moving people and cargo through depressurized tubes.
Theoretically, the Hyperloop system can send people and cargo moving as fast as 760 miles per hour. The concept is still in its early stages of development, but it can even do half of what it is expected to do. It will represent the future of mass transportation.
A feasibility study on a system by Hyperloop One, commissioned by FS Links and carried out by public accounting company KPMG, reveals that a network connecting Sweden's Stockholm and Finland's Helsinki will cost about €19 billion, or $21 billion, to build.
The whopping estimate includes the tube that the people will sit in, and the track that the system will travel on. Also included are the risk allowances, overhead costs, and the €3 billion, equivalent to $3.3 billion cost of building of what would be the longest marine tunnel in the world to connect the two European cities.
The distance between Stockholm and Helsinki is about 300 miles, and doing the math, the figure points to about €36.7 million cost per kilometer or about $64 million for every mile.
Could there be benefits to be garnered from such a high-cost project? Yes, apparently, with a decision to invest the needed capital into such a system possibly turning out to be a financially smart one.
Currently, going from Stockholm to Helsinki and vice versa would require a travel time of over three hours, which includes the one-hour flight and the additional time needed to go through the airport systems. However, if passengers would go through the Hyperloop system, they would be in their destination in just 28 minutes.
According to the study, the value of the time that will be saved by using the Hyperloop system instead of the traditional aerial pathway is equivalent to about €321 million, or $356 million. There will also be the ticket sales to consider for an expected 43 million passenger trips per year, with estimated annual revenues of €1 billion per year, or about $1.1 billion, and operating profit of €814 million, or about $903 billion.
With such good numbers, FS Links will be moving forward with a more detailed study, which is required to secure the needed capital and approvals for the project. Once given the necessary approvals, the Hyperloop network in both Stockholm and Helsinki will be completed in about eight years, and the link between the two cities in four years.
Hyperloop One is not the only company that is working on putting up a Hyperloop system in Europe though. Its rival Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has also submitted a proposed network to the Slovakian government to build a Hyperloop system in central Europe.
Hyperloop One, however, has said that it will be looking to demonstrate a full-scale and high-speed testing of its Hyperloop system by late this year or early next year, to follow up the demonstration that it carried out in May.