Green Innovations: Startup Zeleros explores the train of the future
Imagine travelling from Paris to Berlin (878km) in less than an hour. Cheaper, faster and greener travel, this is what Spanish start-up Zeleros is offering with their hyperloop. This new form of ground transport promises speeding up to 1,000km/h through a network of low-pressure tubes. It can make hundred-mile journeys more sustainable with 0 direct emissions, thanks to its fully electric powertrain. This month, the startup received €7m in funding to lead the development of its unique version of the “fifth mode of transport”.
The fresh capital comes from Altran, Grupo Red Eléctrica and other strategic investors at a national and international level, including Goldacre Ventures (UK), Road Ventures (Switzerland), Plug and Play (USA), the Spanish Angels Capital and MBHA. The funds will be used to give an impulse to the further development of Zeleros’ hyperloop vehicle. Its core technologies place them as the best alternative to cover routes between 400 and 1,500 kilometres in distance efficiently, with added benefits such as the reduction of the overall infrastructure costs.
Commenting on the announcement, David Pistoni, CEO at Zeleros, said:
“For Zeleros it is key to have partners of this relevance and expertise onboard. Their support will accelerate the development of our technologies, unlocking the path towards hyperloop-based routes and corridors in Europe and worldwide. These new funds will boost a major milestone of developing and demonstrating our technologies in a real environment of operation, bringing Zeleros closer to a multibillion market opportunity to be captured in the next decades.”
Faster, cheaper and greener mobility
This solution is considered one of the biggest innovations in transportation since the commercialization of air transport. The system, based on pods that travel inside a tube with close to vacuum conditions, allows it to reach 1,000 km/h, combining the speed of the plane, the convenience of the train and the periodicity of the metro. Zeleros claims that a European hyperloop network could reduce more than 7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, providing a sustainable alternative to connect main cities and logistic hubs. The hyperloop developed by the Spanish start-up can be up to 5 to 10 times more energy-efficient than an airplane for the same inland route, and operate with 0 direct emissions, thanks to its fully electric powertrain.
Juan Vicén, Chief Marketing Officer at Zeleros, concludes that “this technology will be a crucial tool to strengthen the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as the European Green Deal. Since its creation, Zeleros has been promoting the standardization and regulation of hyperloop systems to ensure the highest level of safety and interoperability to expands the limits of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).”
The next step will be the deployment of the European Hyperloop Development Centre in Spain, including a 3-km test-track to demonstrate the effectiveness of its technologies at high speed. The aim of this project is to accelerate the development of the hyperloop industry in Europe, by creating an ecosystem of international industrial, technological and institutional partners.
Earlier this year, Zeleros participated in the EIC ePitching session in Mobility and pitched this solution to top investors from the transport-sector. In 2019, the company was one of the winners of the EIT Awards and received Phase 1 Grant from the European Innovation Council.