Designed by Chris Reitz, who joined Riversimple in 2010 and also designed the Rasa, the new concepts are a suggestion for what Riversimple might offer once the Rasa is well into testing. Other than the images, though, the company did not share any details about the powertrain or any other specs. We expect the same lightweight philosophy that is guiding the Rasa to influence these other concepts as well.
Lastly, Robert Llewellyn and his Fully Charged YouTube show visited the Riversimple team in Wales. You can watch it above.
Riversimple founder Hugo Spowers today unveiled two new concept vehicles, based on the car maker's acclaimed hydrogen-powered FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle) two-seater 'Rasa' – a light goods vehicle and a four-seater car – both styled by renowned auto designer Chris Reitz.
These designs form part of Riversimple's plans to revolutionise the motor industry by bringing affordable, cutting-edge technology to everyday road-users with a unique, all inclusive sale-of-service offering, eliminating built-in obsolescence and flipping sustainability from a cost into a competitive advantage.
The Welsh company launched the 'Rasa' this spring, and started crowdfunding in April to match a €2m EU grant. It plans a 20-car beta test in 2016/17 with commercially available cars in 2018. The concept vehicles unveiled today will be developed at a later stage, following initial roll out.
Spowers wants to kick-start community-centric hydrogen infrastructure in the UK – developing a community of users around a single hydrogen refuelling station at a time – and build a distributed network of compact and efficient manufacturing plants over time, that will regenerate communities and create jobs.
"Over a 20-year period, this approach would create thousands of new jobs and forge new revenue streams. Our circular business model aligns profitability with sustainability and has the potential to change the market dynamics in this resource-intensive industry," he says.
Riversimple's plans echo a global shift – the UK government predicts 1.3m hydrogen cars will be on the road by 2030 and McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the clean tech product market will reach £1 trillion by 2020.
The 'Rasa' is believed to be the most efficient car in the world designed for ordinary road-going use (40gCO2/km well-to-wheel) and has no tailpipe emissions – just water. The car weighs just 580kg and is incredibly aerodynamic. Refuelling takes just three minutes with a 300 mile range.
The 'Rasa' has spent 15 years in development and was styled by Chris Reitz, who also designed the Fiat 500. The team who created the Rasa hail from F1, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce plc and other aerospace companies.