Wednesday, July 27, 2016 | 3:10 p.m.
Hyperloop One announced today the opening of a 105,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, where the company is testing its transportation platform that propels high-speed pods down pneumatic tubes. The company, which calls the plant Hyperloop One Metalworks, expects to use it for testing and producing some parts for its prototype.
An executive for the company in May talked about its intention to build a manufacturing plant near the test site, but today’s announcement provides more information about the plant’s role. The decision to build the facility comes as Hyperloop One prepares to conduct a demonstration of its transportation platform at the Apex Industrial Park by early next year.
In March, a state economic development board approved tax incentives worth $9.2 million for that project, known as the DevLoop. It involves building a 2-mile test track at the industrial park.
The manufacturing plant is located at the Lone Mountain Corporate Center, where the company is leasing an existing building.
“Hyperloop One Metalworks is the first Hyperloop manufacturing plant in the world,” Josh Giegel, a co-founder said in a statement. “The ability to have a world-class machine shop in-house gives us an advantage to build rapidly and develop the Hyperloop in real time.”
Hyperloop One, formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies, hopes its near-frictionless high-speed pods that would travel through enclosed tubes on land or in the ocean, could prove to be a safe and efficient alternative for transporting people and goods. Proponents boast it could travel at such high speeds it would cut a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco to 30 minutes.
According to a media release, the North Las Vegas plant will include a test lab to help the company improve its propulsion system and tools that cut steel using high-water pressures.
“We are thrilled that Hyperloop One — the future of transportation — already is expanding its manufacturing footprint in North Las Vegas and bringing highly skilled jobs to other parts of our community,” North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee said in the company’s news release.
Hyperloop One, which is facing competition from several additional startups, found itself in the news earlier this month after co-founders and executives for the company sued each other.