I've never wavered in my support for nearly everything Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk does. PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) are each great companies that have deservedly earned Musk comparisons to both Henry Ford and Tony Stark.
Elon Musk has succeeded in nearly everything that he's ever put his mind to and with that comes an extra amount of scrutiny. Musk is claiming that his Hyperloop will see people traveling at speeds reaching 800 miles per hour, with a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and vice versa taking only 30 minutes. While most experts are not doubting this potential, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s Musk is also claiming that it can be accomplished for the low price of $7.5 billion. This is the number that many are calling an impossibility.
Tesla's Musk perhaps forgot to account for land acquisition
In a recent article by Nick Bilton of The New York Times the author has found a number of experts who claim that Musk's cost analysis is nonsense and unfeasible, and that the actual cost of a Hyperloop between the two cities would cost closer to $100 billion. Now, this number is also what Musk believes that the (slow) "bullet train" between the two cities will cost with overruns. To me, the Hyperloop at $100 billion remains the way to go.
Michael L. Anderson, an associate professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California Berkeley, predicted that the cost of the entire project would be closer to $100 billion.
He believes that Musk's vision of pylons supporting the Hyperloop alongside existing highways fails to take into consideration the land that will need to be purchased to make the Hyperloop a reality.
Tesla CEO faces multiple Hyperloop critiques
Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, points out that one reason California’s high-speed rail project has been projected to cost $68 billion is that “they have to acquire 1,100 different pieces of land.”
“Just Fresno to Bakersfield, a little over 100 miles, is supposed to cost $7 billion for high-speed rail,” he writes.
Dan Sperling, founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, told Al Jazeera, “even in the most outlandish visionary way, does not make any sense at all.”
“The whole technology is unproven,” he said. “I know he’s a brilliant guy, but it just doesn’t pencil out.”
Clearly Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s Musk has his reasons for suggesting the project will cost less that $7 billion, but until he voices them expect to read more experts suggesting that it can't be done.