Hitachi Builds World's Fastest Elevator

June 5, 2017

Your elevator speech just got shorter.

As part of a product development test to evaluate the safety and comfort of future high-speed elevators, Hitachi modified two of its ultra high speed lifts in China's Guangzhou (formerly Canton) CTF Finance Centre skyscraper to go even faster.

The CTF Finance Centre elevators already carry impatient passengers up at a rate of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) per minute. Hitachi modified the elevator's control units and safety devices for the test, making the units even lighter.

As recorded by China's  National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Center ( a public accreditation body of elevators-who knew?)  - Hitachi's super fast elevator reached a rated speed of 1,260 meters (4,133 feet) per minute.

Just how fast is that? About 47 miles per hour straight up. Hitachi believes this makes their elevators the fastest in the world.

The technology that allows the Hitachi lifts to rocket up so quickly is based on a thin-profile permanent magnet synchronous motor, stronger main ropes and a compact control unit  which makes the unit lighter and capable of handling the demands of super-high speed elevator travel.

Safety features include electromagnetic brakes using braking materials able to withstand temperatures of 300 degrees and active guide rollers at each corner of the elevator car to absorb vibration as the care travels. A single governor regulates the speed of the car.

Hitachi addresses the ear-popping issue with its proprietary  air pressure adjustment technology that reduces air pressure changes inside the car.

The modified elevators were set back to the original 1,200 m/min rate after the test. Hitachi says the rated speed going down is only 600 meters (1,968 feet) per minute, presumably because dropping faster would cause riders to whack their heads on the ceiling of the car.