Virgin Hyperloop One expected to break ground this year, co-founder says

Last month, the newly re-branded Virgin Hyperloop One high-speed transportation system raised $85 million in new funding.

Co-founder and executive chairman Shervin Pishevar told FOX Business the new investment round, backed by British billionaire Richard Branson, will enable the company to go from the R&D phase to its “Kitty Hawk moment.”

“Josh Giegel and I as co-founders, we had this dream that we would be able to transport people and things at 700 miles per hour and it’s happened and it’s real,” Pishevar told Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”

Currently in studies with governments around the world, the first contracts to build the initial Hyperloop will happen within this coming year, according to Pishevar.

“We will be able to break ground on some of those projects around the world” he said, “most likely in the Middle East and Asia,” and added he hopes to build the Virgin Hyperloop One in America as well. “The dream would be to connect New York to D.C. and do 35-minute travel, city center to city center.”

In Pishevar’s opinion, the Hyperloop potentially unlocks the ability to live and work virtually anywhere and creates an abundance of economic growth, however regulatory hurdles stand in the way, particularly in the U.S.

“That’s why focusing on the international side makes a lot of sense,” he said. “Being able to look at areas like the Silk Road… The Middle East, Europe, the other areas. Most likely those projects will go first but as an American… [We] would love to have this here in our own nation and create lots of jobs, but also this is a multi-decade project. So we are patient,” he said.