UK carmaker Riversimple reveals 2-seat hydrogen fuel cell car

UK carmaker Riversimple has revealed a 2-seat hydrogen fuel cell car set to hit Britain’s roads later this year.

The Riversimple Rasa, which only releases water from its tailpipe, is capable of an estimated 250mpg and has a 300-mile range from just a single tank of hydrogen.

The Rasa has an 8.5kW hydrogen fuel cell which mixes gas pure hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen to generate electric current. The car was developed with ‘ultimate vehicle efficiency’ in mind.

The Rasa - the new hydrogen powered car by Riversimple
The Rasa – the new hydrogen powered car by Riversimple.

The electricity flows to small, lightweight motors in each wheel. Emissions are zero at tailpipe and c.40gCO2/km Well-to-Wheel – even if the hydrogen comes from natural gas. However, Riversimple expects to cut that number in half in the future through refined production methods.

The car features a carbon composite chassis and only weighs 580 kg.

The Rasa production prototype was designed by Chris Reitz, former design chief for the Fiat 500, and his team at their studio in Barcelona. With further funding, 20 cars will be ready for Beta test with customers later this year.

Riversimple says: “It will be offered to individuals in a strategically planned, phased roll-out by region in order to support a low risk, commercially practical introduction of profitable hydrogen refueling infrastructure.”

The full production vehicle (consumer-ready version) is expected to launch in 2018.

Autocar tested the Rasa from the passenger seat and said: “While our limited time in the car revealed little about its performance, the overall experience was akin to that of a small British sports car. With just two gears – forward and reverse – it’s surprisingly simple to operate, and it pulled and sounded like a typical electric car.”