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Elon Musk plans to build a five-mile Hyperloop test track in Texas

By Shawn Knight · 19 replies
Jan 15, 2015
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  1. Not one to be discouraged in the wake of a failed SpaceX rocket landing earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to provide an update on another of the entrepreneur's moonshot projects.

    Read more
  2. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 1,006   +248

    Tube technology! Chop chop, let's go!
    SiaoAngMoh likes this.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,123   +1,394

    ok, feasibility aside... NY to LA would never happen for $100 because the high demand would make prices far more than $100. Proof is in current airline ticket costs. One of the reasons airline ticket prices are normally high because jet fuel is very expensive. But now fuel is dirt cheap, so why haven't ticket prices gone down? It's because there's still lots of demand for the limited number of seats on the plane and people are willing to pay to get one.

    Check the prices on diesel and you'll see the same thing. Diesel is still $1/gallon more than regular because demand is high and truck drivers will pay it.
    risc32 and cliffordcooley like this.
  4. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    Why would anyone be discouraged by the unsuccessful Falcon 9 landing? It was the first time they tried to hit a specific landing zone after a full height launch, turnaround, & reentry and they hit the floating platform! It was another step towards proving that reusable rockets were possible so if anything it should embolden Musk to keep going with projects like the hyperloop.
  5. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +27

    3 & 1/2 hours from NY to LA. 1287.48 KM/h. Elon Musk is certainly making his mark.
  6. Commercial passenger jet tycoons won't let it go.. :D
  7. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    What MilwaukeeMike said.

    they've said this same sort of thing many times over. I remember when they were thinking of putting games on cd. they told us how cds were so dirt cheap to make that no longer would we be paying 50$ for a game. it would be just a buck or two. yeah, cause everyone involved in making and distributing the game would be fine with splitting pennies..? tube travel sounds very cool and I very much hope it gets off the ground, but I'm not willing to speculate on costs. it just depends on so much.
    elon should just go nuts on this 5 mile hyperloop test track. Even if the full dream is never realized, he can sell tickets on this thing like an amusement ride. Once it's kinks are worked out, I'd be all over that one.
  8. txcummins67

    txcummins67 TS Rookie

    Diesel is $1 more than unleaded due to the EPA requiring all sulfur to be removed from diesel fuel which requires several additional refinery steps that were not required before 2007. I drive diesel trucks and prior to the ULS rules, diesel was cheaper than unleaded regular gas. Plus the ULS diesel ate the rubber seals o-rings out of most engines built before 2004 which cost diesel owners tons of money in unnecessary repairs. As much as I'd love to, I can't blame Obama for that one, I'll pin that one on Bush.
  9. I hope the test hyperloop track is actually built, that way a hyperloop can be built between Phoenix and L.A. and finally Phoenix may become a real big city rather than hick-town. Too bad it's in Texas, I'll probably end up building one faster.

    In any case once the technology of the hyperloop is refined and all the potential hazards are identified and the most likely ones accounted for then, we can start work on the hypersonic hyperloop. At 3000 mph the hypersonic hyperloop will go from L.A. to New York in 1 hour! Now that would be cool!
  10. Also, if the hyperloop is integrated directly into the existing public transit infrastructure then people may treat it as a high speed subway, hence many people will use it on a daily basis, hence the price per ride could come down. There is yet another use for the hyperloop, companies could start using the hyperloop to carry cargo between widely separated cities at a fraction of the time it takes a tractor trailer to transfer the materials and at a fraction of the cost it would take to send them via airplane. Companies like Fedex, UPS, USPS, RL, etc could also help fund the hyperloop, and maybe even special cargo hyperloops could be built, just for cargo.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    Elon Musk can do anything he puts other people's minds and money to!(y)
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,123   +1,394

    Why not, everything else is blamed on Bush. :)

    I wasn't about to argue diesel with a trucker, so I looked it up. Each site I found said the same thing.... diesel is more expensive because a) it's taxed $.06 higher (not significant) and b) there's more demand for it. The biggest driver of demand is the winter because diesel is used as heating oil for homes.
    sources: (each one says the same thing)
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    Additionally, (and this came directly from a Hess delivery driver), they have to clean up 1K kerosene during the winter because they add it to diesel fuel to lower the flash point.

    Although 1K kerosene is allegedly a low sulfur fuel, (designed for vent less heaters @600 ppm), it doesn't meet fed standards for over the road trucks. The $0.06 extra tax on diesel fuel makes sense, since those trucks do more damage to highways than cars.

    However, what has been up to a dollar more price difference between gasoline and diesel fuel, (IMHO), renders the purchase of a "clean diesel" powered car, a monumentally stupid undertaking. Figure it out. The diesel car needs a minimum of 15% to as much as 25% better fuel economy, just to break even with a gasoline car. Which is why I'm guessing, they've started advertising the diesel powered "junk" as, "XXX miles per tankful".
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Its close at roughly 13% more BTU/gal for low sulfur diesel which should translate pretty closely to fuel economy with everything else being equal. Keep adding ethanol to the gasoline and that number is going to grow. Furthermore if we could go back to the regular 'high' sulfur diesel, the gap grows again in diesel's favor.

    Regular 'high' sulfur diesel: ~140,000 BTU/gal
    Low sulfur diesel: ~128,000 BTU/gal
    Regular gasoline: ~ 125,000 BTU/gal (I think this is a bit high, thought it was closer to 123-124,000)
    E10 gasoline: 112-116,000 BTU/gal

    Prior knowledge from a previous job
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    @SNGX1275 As much as I hate being the bearer of bad news, (not even close to true), the difference between low sulfur diesel and "regular gas", (by your own calorie count), is actually only 3.9% of latent thermal potential.

    Worst case, (112,000 gas, 128,000 diesel), handily rounds down to 12% more heat from diesel.

    The most recent fuel prices I could find are $2.14 regular gas, and $3.00 for diesel. Which equals a 29% price differential, as opposed to a maximum of 12% more available BTUs output.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    You are right captain, I went through about 6 edits on that post and lost some clarity there.

    The issue is that you almost can't buy regular gasoline anymore, its all E10, and you came up with 12% and I came up with ~13%.

    Here is a .gov link for some more information: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=27&t=10
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,337   +1,751

    The fact that this thing will have to run in a vacuum will present technical challenges that may not be all that easy to overcome.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    As far as I can tell, Elon Musk isn't going to face or solve any challenges. Everybody that works for him will. He'll just take the credit if it works. (Or fake an apology to the donors if it doesn't).
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,203   +4,865

    Yep Elon Musk is the only man/woman that takes credit for achievements done by others.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    Perhaps so. Nonetheless, he impresses me as the most obnoxious snake oil salesman of this century

    What capped it off for me was his crap about a flying car. After all, I've been literate to read Popular Science for almost 6 decades. And flying cars were discussed in that mag before Musk was born. Then all of a sudden, he gets this "brainstorm". Quite frankly, the idea isn't even contemporary, let alone his.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015

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