In an appearance on CNBC, Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said a “Hyperloop” — a futuristic new kind of solar powered mass transit — could be built for just 10% of the cost of the high-speed rail project currently underway in California.
While details at this point are a little sketchy, we think Musk has in mind something like a Maglev along the lines of the Moonbase alpha travel tubes as featured in The late Gerry Anderson's TV series from the 1970's Space 1999.
"What you want is something that never crashes, that's at least twice as fast as a plane, that's solar powered and that leaves right when you arrive, so there is no waiting for a specific departure time," Musk says
Musk first revealed this concept in July 2012 at a PandoDaily event in Santa Monica, California.
"You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket than any other mode of transport. I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There's a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries. Yes, this is possible, absolutely"
During the CNBC interview Musk said he would not elaborate on his conception of the Hyperloop until after June 20, when another announcement regarding Tesla is planned.