UK transportation company Riversimple just revealed their 250 mpg hydrogen-powered car for the masses, called Rasa. Designed by Chris Reitz, who worked on the Fiat 500, the car will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and will emit nothing but a small amount of water. In addition to making a vehicle they claim will be the most energy efficient car in the world, with an anxiety-ending 300-mile range, the company is reimagining the automobile industry in another radical way: they won’t be selling their cars. Rather, Riversimple will sell a monthly plan which includes maintenance, insurance, and hydrogen as well as use of the car.
The car holds enough hydrogen for about one week of local travel and refueling takes only three minutes. Riversimple is working with partners to ensure hydrogen refueling stations are in place in the areas where the car will be driven most to further alleviate any range anxiety.
The car seats two passengers and, thanks to electric motors in each wheel, has four-wheel drive. The car’s design also recaptures much of the kinetic energy that is lost when a typical car brakes. In Riversimple’s design, the kinetic energy is collected as electricity, which is sent to super-capacitors at the front of the car. That energy is then used in acceleration. The process reclaims over 50% of the braking energy. The downside to all this efficiency is that the car tops out at 60mph.
After the full design is divulged, 20 cars will be delivered to selected beta testers, and Riversimple aims to bring the car to the wider market in 2018. The vehicle’s special monthly payment plan includes maintenance, insurance, and hydrogen as well as use of the car. Their goal is for the plan to be as affordable as the current costs of a gas-burning car. They believe that this model will encourage them and other car companies to pursue sustainable, smart business policies that place more of an emphasis on the environment. They also aim to be upfront about their business policies, promising that they won’t hide clauses in small print on their contracts that work against users, and have been open about their technology as well.
Riversimple’s goal is “to pursue…the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport.” Those interested are encouraged to sign up for updates and provide their zip code so the company can gage interest to help drive the locations for their hydrogen stations.
Images via Riversimple