Linear induction motor for Hyperloop system

A Hyperloop test track– a large vacuum tube for ultra-high-speed travel – has been built on EPFL campus. It will be used to test a linear induction motor.

Composed of two main elements, an electric vehicle and a controlled environment confined infrastructure, the Hyperloop has the potential to disrupt intra-continental travels, while being sustainable at the same time. One of the big challenges is its propulsion system. To keep costs down, the energy required for propulsion in the EPFL design will not come from the track – as it does for Maglev trains – but will be carried by the pods themselves. They will be equipped with linear induction motors, although further development work is needed to reduce the pods’ power consumption. The development work will be carried out under the LIMITLESS project (for Linear Induction Motor drIve for Traction and LEvitation in Sustainable hyperloop Systems) involving the Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory (DESL), EPFL start-up Swisspod and the Vaud School of Management and Engineering (HEIG-VD), with the support of an Innosuisse grant. Once the low-power linear induction motor is ready, it will be tested on the EPFL track.

More information

Principal investigator

Prof. Mario Paolone

Principal manager

Georgios Sarantakos







External partners

Swisspod, HEIG-VD