Check back regularly for new answers to questions we receive from interested stakeholders. Check out the examples below.
What’s the speed of your tunneling technology?
1.03 km per day thru hard rock, assuming a 1-meter diameter. With increased power, both speed and diameter can be increased. On the flip side, without access to adequate power supply speed will decrease. When boring thru organics (soil, etc.) or softer rock, the speed is faster.
How much will a typical tunnel cost?
We cover 100% of the costs to engineer, permit and build a tunnel and we lease the tunnel to our customers on long-term contracts (generally 50 years). So, the lease payment will vary based on tunnel length, diameter, geographical location, specific geology (how difficult is the boring, including any fractures), desired tunnel wall lining options, etc. Note that we expect our tunneling costs to be up to 70-90% less expensive per km than conventional TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines). We may ask our customers to pay for a 3rd party geotechnical or geophysical feasibility study before we commit resources to the development of a tunnel.
What would a city need to do to get a Hyperloop node (station) located within city limits?
Due to expected very high demand for our tunnels, we will prioritize tunnel routes for Hyperloop vacuum tubes in cities that have written, binding 100% renewable energy goals and are making tangible progress towards those goals. The same goes for states or provinces where we will do business: they must have aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards. Our power supply will always be 100% renewable energy, and therefore we need to ensure that any jurisdiction we enter is on a clear path to being carbon-free as soon as realistically possible - and we intend to dramatically accelerate the implementation of those goals set by the cities, counties, states, provinces, and countries that we do business in. In other words, if your politicians are still Cavemen or Cavewomen in the pocket of the Fossil Fuel industry, throw them out of office and elect clean energy advocates. Otherwise, we won't do business in your area.
How is the Red Gopher able to bore so fast at a lower cost?
We use robotic non-mechanical means to bore tunnels. No workers in the tunnel, no diesel engines with exhaust, no complicated machinery to maintain and fix when it breaks, no thermal heat maximum to stay below before drill bits melt (there are no drill bits in the Red Gopher), and we use super low-cost wind & solar to power our process (far cheaper than diesel fuel or even conventional grid power).
Could the Red Gopher robot be used on the moon, or on Mars to dig tunnels for human habitation?
When will you begin digging tunnels?
Late 2017 for our first few preferred customers (already selected), and we will launch on Earth Day 2018 to begin taking orders for new tunnels and related services.