Much of the investment money for the technology has come from Russian backers.
Last month in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin said he would promote Elon Musk’s Hyperloop technology, which aims to create vacuum tubes for the rapid transportation of people and goods. “He expressed big interest in this project and promised state backing for implementing it,” a Russian government spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Bloomberg.
Russian investors have already played a key role in backing the Hyperloop project. Ziyavudin Magomedov, who owns part of several ports on the Black and Baltic seas, has invested millions in the project. The Kremlin’s Russian Direct Investment Fund is another investor. Russia is one of the countries participating feasibility studies with the company Hyperloop One.
Russia and China both have reason to invest in this technology. China’s New Silk Road initiative will focus on cooperation between China, Russia and Middle and South Eastern countries to ease trade and movement of products. Russia, which spans 11 time zones, could use Hyperloop technology to dramatically speed up transport which now relies on the sluggish Trans-Siberian Railroad. This is particularly important since its relationship with the EU has strained after the war in Ukraine and the annex of Crimea.
A real Hyperloop is still a long ways away, but the support of leaders like Putin demonstrates how this kind of technology could impact global trade and politics.