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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Would You Invest In Elon Musk’s Hyperloop?

August 16th, 2013

elonmuskElon Musk is no stranger to game-changing ideas. The visionary was behind PayPal, then one of the first attempts at commercial space travel with SpaceX, as well as CEO of market darling Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), the surging electric car maker.

However, his latest idea could very easily top them all, and revolutionize transportation as we know it, the “hyperloop”. The transportation mode has been called by Musk as a ‘cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table’, and is intended to get travelers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 35 minutes.

What’s a Hyperloop?

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The hyperloop is basically a passenger tube that shoots capsules in a low vacuum environment, reaching speeds of 760 mph. In essence, passengers are moved like a puck on an air hockey table, except in a controlled environment that has the ability to slow down and speed up as needed.

Musk believes that the total cost of such a program can come in below $10 billion—a fraction of the total cost of the current proposal for California’s high speed rail system. Meanwhile, not only will it be far faster than the rail proposal (which is expected to top out around 220mph), but Musk believes that a $20 one way ticket is possible with his plan (you can read the full PDF file of the proposal here).

However, many have come out against the idea, saying that it will not work for a variety of reasons. Chief among them are concerns over earthquakes, as well as fears about the air pressure. There are worries that the compressed air would create too much heat, or that a small leak might prevent the near vacuum from staying at appropriate levels.

But what do you think of this proposal; can something like this be achieved for less than $10 billion?

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  1. MacD
    August 22nd, 2013 at 23:36 | #1

    Yes, count me in, as an investor on the Hyperloop too….. I’m a TESLA investor ( and yes Romney, TESLA is an American success story … unlike you, you two-time loser)!

  2. paradox
    August 19th, 2013 at 09:28 | #2

    I’ve actually had a similar idea to the Hyperloop after watching a scene from the movie “Starship Troopers” but using the railing from those insane looping rollercoasters out there. I think Elon Musk is a genious and I would totally support his Hyperloop as I support his Model S.

  3. michael ellson
    August 18th, 2013 at 18:32 | #3

    If the pipe at any point along the track were to be seriously compromised either by accident or sabotage wouldn’t the sudden increase in air pressure hitting the train be akin to driving your car into a brick wall at 80mph?

  4. Ian
    August 16th, 2013 at 13:57 | #4

    Yes, I would invest in it. Musk has a proven record of success. I have a physics background and his proposal outline is quite plausable.

  5. BrainInVat
    August 16th, 2013 at 13:44 | #5

    Yes, I would invest a lot of money in the Hyperloop. Sign the White house petition to make the Hyperloop a reality. Google White house petition Hyperloop.

  6. Gina
    August 16th, 2013 at 12:28 | #6

    I’m a MUSKateer!

  7. Bear
    August 16th, 2013 at 12:00 | #7

    I think he’s in the right ball park for the construction costs – but only once all the detailed design and testing has been ironed out. This could increase the final cost by anything from a factor of 2 to and order of magnitude greater (especially if lawyers get involved re. land rights etc.)

    But yes, I’d invest in a prototype.

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