According to Autocar in the UK, a new hydrogen fuel cell-powered city car will be unveiled next week. The car has been designed over the last three years by students at Oxford and Cranfield universities in England Riversimple with collaboration from Oxford and Cranfield Universities. Roughly the size of a smart fortwo, this hydrogen-powered vehicle will reportedly weigh just 770 pounds (350 kilograms), which will allow it to reach speeds of 50 miles per hour and boast a range in excess of 200 miles using a comparatively small fuel cell and hydrogen tank.

In fact, Riversimple – backed by Sebastian Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche – will reportedly equip its first vehicle with a 6 kW fuel cell. That's positively tiny, especially when compared with other hydrogen-powered cars like the Honda Clarity, which uses a 100 kW fuel cell. One electric motor at each wheel will provide the car's motive force and a bank of ultracapacitors is used in lieu of a battery for energy storage.

The planned sales scheme is just as interesting as the car. Apparently, Riversimple plans to lease the cars for a period of 20 years (!), the price of which will include the cost of fuel. A total of ten prototypes are in the works and the company hopes to partner up with a city to launch a hydrogen infrastructure at the same time. Something you don't like about the project? Feel free to change it – this is an open source design that will be made available online.

[Source: Riversimple, Autocar]

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