The European Hyperloop Center (EHC) is to be located in Groningen. This has been announced on 20 December 2019 by Hardt Hyperloop (a hyperloop developer based in Delft). A hyperloop is a transport system, which uses sealed low air pressure tubes to convey people and commodities. Its technology is similar to that of pneumatic tubes. The testing site for this new type of transportation is expected to be built north of the Slochterdiep, above the city borough Meerstad. Construction will start by late 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2022.
The Province and Municipality of Groningen are quite pleased with the arrival of the testing centre. The hyperloop aligns perfectly with the region’s ambitions regarding innovation and sustainability. Groningen companies, knowledge institutions and local authorities are closely collaborating in order to develop smart and green traffic and transportation solutions, as is for instance now been done in the hive.mobility innovation centre. The new hyperloop centre shall therefore fit in perfectly.
The European Hyperloop Center will be open to all European hyperloop developers, allowing it to become thé European hyperloop technology hub. According to research by the Berenschot agency, the arrival of the centre is likely to attract other companies and thus generate at least 110 new jobs. Hardt Hyperloop is planning to invest an estimated € 25 million itself in this new research centre and testing site. The Province of Groningen has given financial support to this investment, granting a subsidy in the amount of € 3 million.
Energy conscious alternative
The hyperloop is a transport technology, which is both faster as well as more energy conscious than planes or high-speed trains. Research in the new European Hyperloop Center is to reveal to what degree the hyperloop is to be considered as a realistic alternative for short distance flights. During the following months the province and city as well as Hardt Hyperloop shall be thoroughly preparing the construction of the centre. This shall also involve adjusting the land-use plan of the area. To this effect, the municipality of Groningen shall be initiating a planning procedure soon.