Virgin Hyperloop sets up certification centre in West Virginia
The HCC will pave the way for the certification of hyperloop systems around the world – the first step towards commercial projects.
Credit: Virgin Hyperloop
Following years of testing and technology development at its full-scale test site, Virgin Hyperloop has revealed West Virginia as the home for its Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC).
Beyond progressing hyperloop on the regulatory and commercial fronts, the HCC will also create an entirely new ecosystem, creating thousands of new jobs across construction, manufacturing, operations, and high-tech sectors, according to a statement.
“Today is one of the most exciting days in Virgin Hyperloop’s history,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “The Hyperloop Certification Center is the start of the hyperloop journey for West Virginia, for the United States, and for the world. We’re one step closer to making hyperloop travel a reality for people everywhere.”
This announcement builds off of significant progress in the US on the regulatory front. In July 2020, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council unveiled the guidance document on a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop in the United States. The HCC announcement not only provides a pathway for hyperloop regulation and deployment in the US, but also establishes hyperloop’s eligibility for federal funding for projects.
This federal momentum, combined with the advancements at the HCC, will pave the way for the certification of hyperloop systems in the US and around the world – the first step towards commercial projects.
Particularly as we look to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s clear that we need a 21st century solution that will propel us forward, allowing us to not just rebuild, but actually evolve.” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “Hyperloop is that solution, and we look forward to working with our partners across the country – in places like West Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Missouri, Washington, and North Carolina – to connect the country from coast to coast.”
Virgin Hyperloop aims to achieve safety certification by 2025, with commercial operations beginning in 2030.