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A hyperloop is a magnetic levitation train that runs through virtually vacuumed tube. It is a kind of pneumatic post for people and cargo. The low air resistance allows the vehicle to reach enormous speeds, approximately 700 kilometers per hour. You can go from Rotterdam to Berlin in just 90 minutes. The hyperloop can be a more sustainable alternative to both continental flights and domestic car use. The hyperloops can also be integrated to the existing public transport system.

In 2012, the founders of Hardt Hyperloop were still working on building an electric racing car at DreamTeams at TU Delft when Elon Musk came up with the Hyperloop competition.

Mars Geuze, co-founder and CCO of Hardt Hyperloop, says: ‘We were already heavily involved in competitions, so we thought ‘oh well, why not’. So we decided to travel all the way to the US to participate in this challenge. We competed against other parties and our team ultimately won. Of course, that was crazy. Elon Musk was immediately convinced by the idea, but I wasn’t immediately myself. Cool technology alone won’t get you anywhere. Because what does it add? I thought I should first do more research into what problem we were actually solving and what exactly the business case was. It wasn’t until I had mapped out the European flight network that I was convinced. With a few years of flying turnover, you can build the entire European network. The long-term financial attractiveness was an important deciding factor.’

Since I was a child, I have been bothered by the streets filled with cars

Mars Geuze, Co-Founder & CCO of Hardt Hyperloop 

Hardt Hyperloop has now grown to 45 employees and they are located in the Science Tower in Rotterdam. ‘The municipality has been involved with us from the start and is very committed to getting Hardt off the ground. It is a city that really thinks along and I don’t see that anywhere else. That was also an important reason for us to continue growing in Rotterdam. This is how they came up with the idea of an experience center to introduce people to the hyperloop. Because a large part is also about social acceptance. Up!Rotterdam has given us a platform to tell our story, which has attracted investors’ interest. All kinds of delegations always come to the city via Up!Rotterdam and then visit us again. Of course, we also benefit a lot from this.

We are now building a test track in Groningen. That is a track of 420 meters where we can actually test everything. We plan to run our first real pilot in 2030. Rotterdam is already considering a suitable location for this could be.

With the Hyperloop we can change the public transportation. Soon you will no longer have to fly distances of up to 2,500 km, but you will travel with the hyperloop. Apart from the impact on energy consumption (only 10 percent!), it also affects where we can live and work. With the hyperloop you will soon be able to work in Rotterdam and live in Berlin.

Entrepreneurship is all about taking action. That’s why the make it happen slogan is great, since it really suits the company and the city. You are always strategic, but at the end of the day you just have to master it.

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Mars Geuze is one of our Rotterdam Icons. Curious about the other Icons? Click here to meet them!

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