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Photo: Virgin Hyperloop One

A new research report says a hyperloop, the high-speed travel concept, is at least 20 years away from commercialization.

The big picture: Climate change has fueled interest in finding low-carbon alternatives to conventional rail and air travel. An electric hyperloop is one solution, because it operates in a vacuum system that reduces aerodynamic drag, enabling higher speeds and greater energy efficiency.

  • Passengers would ride in levitating pods inside a narrow tube at speeds well above 500 mph.
  • Virgin Hyperloop One explains the technology in this video.

Yes, but: A new report from Lux Research says while the concept is technically feasible, it will require significant development to become cost-effective.

  • "Despite the considerable amount of hype and attention hyperloop has received and the potentially important role it could play in decarbonizing long-range transit, the concept remains more or less unproven, and serious questions remain about its economic feasibility," says Lux Research Senior Analyst Christopher Robinson.

The bottom line, via Lux Research: the first passenger-carrying high-speed hyperloop systems won't begin operation before 2040 at the earliest.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.

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