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Hyperloop Tech announces a new “open-air” test track capable of 335 mph in Nevada by early 2016

Hyperloop tech test trackHyperloop Technologies Inc. announced today a deal with Nevada officials to build a new test track for “Propulsion Open Air Test” (POAT) in the state. Hardware will begin arriving this month at the Apex Industrial Park in the City of North Las Vegas, and testing should begin in early 2016.

Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies, on the announcement:

“This decision represents another major milestone in our journey to bring Hyperloop to commercial reality. Hyperloop Technologies will invest first in regions where we receive government advocacy to move fast. We are grateful for the support we have received from Governor Sandoval, the Nevada Office of Economic Development and Mayor Lee and his team from the City of North Las Vegas.”

In a press release, the company cites the ability of the Office of Economic Development team and state and local officials to move at the pace that supports the test and future deployment of advanced technology as a critical reason to select Nevada as the location for the company’s Propulsion Open Air Test.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who first released the alpha plan for the Hyperloop in 2013, also cited Nevada’s fast pace of approval for new technology as a reason to choose the state for Tesla’s Gigafactory.

With the track being “open-air”, it is primarily to test the company’s electric propulsion system, but it can still achieve impressive speeds without the low-pressure environment of the Hyperloop tube. Hyperloop Tech describes the project:

The Propulsion Open Air Test will occur on a track of approximately 1 km where the custom-designed linear electric motor will be tested at speeds of 540 km/hour. The Hyperloop technical team, led by CTO and co-founder Brogan BamBrogan, is pioneering unique innovations including advancements in propulsion, tube design and fabrication, levitation systems, pod designs and thermodynamics and systems engineering.

The startup is also in the final stages of selecting another site to construct a “3 km full-scale, full speed” prototype, which they say should be operational by late 2016/early 2017.

Hyperloop Tech recently confirmed closing $26 million in convertible note financing, which is part of a $80 million Series B round the company is trying to close by the end of year. The latest $26 million brought the total to $37 million in financing to date.

The new test track will join SpaceX’s own track for its Hyperloop pod competition, which is set for summer 2016.

The company released a video with a model of the test track:

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