Since he announced a planned hyperloop route from New York to Washington DC yesterday, Elon Musk has been talking about other possible routes for his new Boring Company.
Now a Hyperloop route all the way up to Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is apparently being considered for cargo.
When Musk first conceptualized the Hyperloop system, it was mainly presented as a new efficient and super fast way to move people from one point to another, but the potential for freight transport was also presented as a possibility and Tesla has to move a lot of cargo to build its cars and then ship them around the world.
For the past few years, most of Tesla’s production was concentrated in Fremont, California, but now Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada is about to be just as important with the production of Model 3 battery packs and drivetrains.
If Tesla sticks to its production plan, they could be moving as many as 10,000 battery packs from Nevada to California every week by the end of next year.
Now Musk is considering covering the route with an underground Hyperloop system built in a tunnel bored by his new startup, The Boring Company.
Earlier this week, Musk already mentioned the possible route between San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the Boring Company already started digging, but for a network of tunnels and not an underground hyperloop system.
Los Angeles is a big market for Tesla and they are shipping a lot of cars there from Fremont, but a hyperloop system would, of course, primarily be for passengers on that route.
While a Fremont to Sparks route would be primarily for freight and while Gigafactory 1 alone would be a big customer, it’s hard to imagine it would be worth building a 240-mile tunnel with a hyperloop system. Though the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, where Tesla’s Gigafactory is located, also has several other major companies.
It’s not impossible, but it still just looks like hype right now.
In Los Angeles though, things seem to be moving fast. Musk met with the mayor of Hawthorne yesterday about their first tunnel under SpaceX headquarters:
They are trying to improve their tunnel boring techniques in Los Angeles and replicate them to dig those long-distance tunnels for hyperloop systems.
What is less clear is whether they plan to develop their own hyperloop technology or partner with existing companies, like Hyperloop One or Hyperloop Transportation.
Featured Image: Tesla Gigafactory 1: new aerial shot shows lots of activity as it starts Model 3 production – by Ron Hutchings