New Mexico is one of seventeen states in the running for the construction of a hyperloop certification site.
The facility would belong to the Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One, which several months ago issued a Request for Proposals for the site location and construction of what will officially be called the Hyperloop Certification Center.
Founded in 2014, Virgin Hyperloop One is in the process of commercializing its hyperloop, a high-speed technology system moving passengers on an electromagnetically levitated pod via a low-pressure tube that could reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.
The certification center will be designed to house what will be the first hyperloop passenger product in the country. According to a statement released by the company late last year, the center will also be used to establish “regulatory and safety standards, research frameworks, and testing infrastructure.”
In issuing the RFP, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said the company was specifically looking for states “that believe our technology is the giant leap forward we need.”
Of the states responding to the RFP, only four are located in the West: New Mexico, North and South Dakota, and Texas.
The other states are primarily in the South.
Although a price tag to build the new facility has not been revealed, Virgin Hyperloop One officials have said they think funding for the project will ultimately come from a mix of both private and public funding.
The company has not yet said where the certification center will be built, but it has indicated that it would like to have construction of that facility underway sometime in 2021, with a 2025 completion date.
By Garry Boulard
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