Is Hyperloop helpful in relieving the environmental burden of long-distance travel? An explorative analysis for Europe

Kees van Goeverden, Milan Janic, Dimitris Milakis

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific

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Long-distance travelling accounts for a significant and increasing part of the mileage of person travel and the respective environmental impacts (Van Goeverden et al, 2016). Energy consumption and emissions connected with long-distance travelling might be substantially reduced through use of evacuated tubes of low air resistance, such as the recently proposed Hyperloop transport system (HL). This paper explores the extent to which a fully developed HL network system in Europe could reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions of long-distance passenger transport.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Conference on Transport, Climate Change and Clean Air - CentraleSupelec, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Duration: 21 Jun 201822 Jun 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference on Transport, Climate Change and Clean Air
Abbreviated titleICTCC 2018
OtherThe fifth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that the increase in global average surface temperature is due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report also reveals that keeping the average global temperature below a 2° increase will become more challenging over time. Despite the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the submission of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 164 Parties, most countries still need to urgently transform their NDCs to specific measures and actions. At the same time, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are also part of a new Agenda that will shift the world onto a more sustainable and resilient path. These initiatives have created an opportunity for the design and implementation of policies that will address sustainable development and climate change simultaneously.

Transport is responsible for about 25% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a dominating greenhouse gas (GHG), with an increasing share in most countries, especially in Asia and Latin America. According to the International Transport Forum (ITF), the transport sector remains the sector with the fastest growing CO2 emissions compared to the industry and energy sectors in the OECD countries. Although transport CO2 emission levels in non-OECD countries are still relatively low, they will soon catch up with OECD countries. In addition, developing countries also have high levels of local air pollution, particularly sulfur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and particulate matter (PM), which is a pressing priority for most cities.

Global transport volumes have been projected to continue to increase. Passenger transport will more than double by 2050, the global vehicle stock will increase from 1 billion in 2015 to 2.4 billion in 2050, while freight transport is projected to triple. Global transport CO2emission could increase by 60% from 2015 level in 2050 under the business as usual scenario. However, having the appropriate mix of policies can significantly reduce carbon emissions, create transport co-benefits that will also decrease local air pollution and provide options for low carbon transport development. This conference seeks to identify priority areas that will have the greatest potential to reduce transport emissions in both passenger and freight transport and to share knowledge on best practice and latest research findings on emerging trends
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