Saturday , January 16 2021

You need this? Lufthansa and Hamburg Port Company Show Interest in Hyperloop Technology



First, in my opinion, a hilarious joke: "Hyperloop – Lufthansa (WKN: 823212) is Hansa now without air?" Haha!

Now, if you're wondering what this joke is, then you certainly have not heard much about Hyperloop technology. Basically it's a type of pneumatic tube. In a tube system, a vacuum is created in which transport capsules without air resistance and friction are to reach speeds of up to 1,200 kilometers per hour. Vacuum! Then "no air"! Haha!

Enough of the jokes. Because with Hyperloop in Germany, you could soon be serious. Recently it also showed the HHLA (WKN: A0S848) (Port of Hamburg and Logistics AG) interested in this technology. Can Hyperloop give new impetus to the actions of the two carriers?

Short Course Problems

Why does an airline really need a Hyperloop? After all, such an Airbus A320-200 flies at a cruising speed of 840 kilometers per hour.

Apparently this is I enjoy the troubled son of Lufthansa. Because the crane airline allegedly examined whether a Hyperloop tube could replace flights on the routes from Munich to Hamburg, Berlin to Dusseldorf and Cologne to Berlin.

At Frankfurt airport, the problem of short distance is clearly visible. Here, some short-haul flights are basically only served to transport passengers to the center of Frankfurt. From there, go to the world.

Allegedly, 15% of all flights at Frankfurt airport could already be transferred to the railroads 99% without loss of time. Confusing 24.3% of all Lufthansa aircraft take-offs and landings at Frankfurt Airport this year concerned flights with maximum of 500 kilometersEnvironmentalists and aircraft noise critics should not like these numbers.

In my opinion, Lufthansa could kill two birds with one stone with a Hyperloop feeder. On the one hand, one can get rid of the image of the environmental sinner who vomits kerosene. On the other hand, an exclusive supersonic feeder would be an innovative investment in infrastructure that would make Lufthansa stand out from other airlines. In an industry where one Airbus does not differ much from the other, this investment can be crucial attraction factor develop.

Relief to the port

The Hamburg Port Authority (HHLA) has something completely different in mind with Hyperloop. Apparently, the truck traffic is a thorn in the side of the burgers.

So far, trucks need to go to the port to pick up cargo and haul it. With Hyperloop could be up to 4100 containers per day in the hinterland of Hamburg shot to be. Only containers must be loaded onto trucks and transported.

A special highlight: The operation of the plant must be self-sufficient. For this purpose, the solar cells must be connected to the outside of the vacuum tube.

What I especially like about the idea of ​​the Hamburg Port Company: The biggest criticism of Hyperloop technology plays no role here. As a reminder: universal genius Elon Musk spoke in 2013 of Hyperloop as an idea for transport of passengers,

Now, technologies that are used to transport people inevitably raise the question of travel risk. How safe is a 1,200 km / h trip through a vacuum tube? What concrete consequences would an accident in Hyperloop have?

From my point of view, the issue is unnecessary if only transport containers are transported. Hyperloop may never be used for passenger traffic, but only for freight traffic. I think Elon Musk will be right.

I do not damage my very high expectations

New high-tech infrastructure in Germany? For me this sounds like Transrapid (it's been in Shanghai since 2002 but nowhere in Germany) and the Running Gag (Berlin Airport).

Therefore, I am not inclined to raise my expectations regarding the implementation of these two Hyperloop ideas. Aside from the fact that I have not heard any specific Lufthansa plans so far.

The Hamburg port company seems to be a bit more advanced. It seems the talks have already begun with the Californian company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). More than statements of intent have not yet been released. Supposedly, it will take two to three years before the start of construction.

I think patience is now needed. When statements of intent become concrete plans and plans prove to be innovative, I think it's time to look more closely at the actions of the two companies.

Still, time seems ripe for me to build a HyperLog Watchlist. In my opinion, both ideas from Hyperloop show that this technology could solve real problems in different industries. And I belong to the kind of investor who likes to have stocks of companies that solve problems. Is that you?

Stefan Naerger does not have any of the actions mentioned. Motley Fool does not have any of the actions mentioned.


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