UK Firm Reveals Prototype Hydrogen Car

The company responsible for the Rasa says it has been designed from the chassis up and has been manufactured “in a completely different way”.


Riversimple, based in Powys, Wales, plans to take on the big players of the motor industry with the two-seater Rasa.

It is not expecting to sell the vehicles but offer them on a subscription basis.

The company plans to launch a trial of 20 production cars by the end of 2016, making them available to the public in 2018.

Currently, there are only two hydrogen cars – the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell and the Toyota Mirai – available in the UK.

Riversimple founder Hugo Spowers, who used to work in motor racing, said: “There’s an opportunity to make a breakthrough, a step change for vehicle technology, not through advancing fuel cell technology, but by building cars in a completely different way.”

The Rasa has a range of roughly 300 miles

The Rasa has been formulated from the chassis up with a different architecture from existing cars.

It has a range of approximately 300 miles on 1.5kg of hydrogen, which is converted to electricity, and it emits only warm air and water vapour.

“The difficult bit has been convincing drivers that when you’re going through a step change it is much lower risk to change everything at once,” said Mr Spowers.

“People believe it’s the prudent thing to change one thing at a time but, as Lloyd George said, you can’t cross a chasm in two jumps.”

The Rasa faces tough competition from existing green cars

The competition among green cars has become increasingly strong in recent years. Only two electric vehicles were sold in 2007, but last year the figure was over 28,000.

Established auto manufacturers like BMW and Nissan, along with newer companies like Tesla, offer a range of models.

The market is dominated by battery electric cars, rather than hydrogen. At present there are just 14 hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK, not all of which are available to the public.

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