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This article was published on October 14, 2015

We could all be flying around in electric planes, but Elon Musk is too busy

We could all be flying around in electric planes, but Elon Musk is too busy
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
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Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

When asked what he’d be doing if he wasn’t running Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk said he’d start work on designing an electric plane.

“I do like the idea of an electric aircraft company. I think one could do a pretty cool supersonic, vertical take-off and landing electric jet. I have a design in mind for that,” said Musk in an interview with Marketplace.

He noted, “Aircraft and ships, and all other modes of transport, will go fully electric — not half electric, but fully electric.”

While that doesn’t count as an official announcement about Musk’s aspirations to design aeroplanes, I’m not completely ruling out the possibility.

In 2012, Musk proposed a low-power, high-speed mode ‘fifth mode of transport’ and published plans publicly for what he called Hyperloop the following year.

This February, a startup comprised of heavy hitters like yammer founder David Sacks and X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, announced that it would begin working on the concept.

hyperloop-pod
Credit: Hyperloop Technologies

Meanwhile, Musk’s company SpaceX has announced that it will construct a one-mile test track next to its Hawthorne, California headquarters by June 2016 for teams to trial their designs.

Ahead of the sixth Du CEO Forum, Diamandis said yesterday that the UAE could begin running Hyperloop by 2020 if it wanted to, and enable passengers to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (which are roughly 93 miles apart) in under 15 minutes.

If that’s on the cards in just over five years, electric planes may not be too far off.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk: The future runs on batteries [Marketplace]