Riversimple's idea to turn open source ethics loose on the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle hasn't exactly set the world on fire since being unveiled last July. Still, the project to develop a H2 vehicle with a 6 kW fuel cell that would cost just 200 pounds Sterling a month ($322 U.S. at current exchange rates) is moving along. The Ecologist spoke with project lead (if you can call someone so fervently behind open source a lead) Hugo Spowers, who said:
The open source community behind the Riversimple project works together at the 40 Fires Foundation, which has been going for about a year now. 40 Fires intends to become a registered charity for people to donate to in order to "provide a platform for the development of energy efficient vehicles to benefit society and the planet." While we had heard last summer that the first Riversimple vehicles would hit the road in 2010, the Ecologist writes that the first fleet of about 50 cars will come to the UK starting in 2012. Turns out delays happen to private and public groups alike.There is such a yawning gap between the environmental performance of cars and what is sustainable, that I don't believe a purely competitive world can ever get us there. [Open source] really does produce this constant and very rapid drive toward absolute excellence, which I think is needed in the current circumstances. I have precious little faith in regulation ever pushing us in that direction.