Innovative new fuel cell vehicle aims to change the automotive landscape

Fuel Cell vehicles are yet to take off in the automotive industry in the way we have that electric and other eco-friendly vehicles have to this point.

This is largely due to the fact that hydrogen fuel is rather inefficient. From producing the gas, to compressing and transportation, to storing it, hydrogen fuel does not make economical sense at this stage to manufacturers.

However, British car manufacturing company, Riversimple, believe they have found the answer to this issue with the introduction of their new fuel cell model, the Rasa. The company claims that the Rasa model is the most efficient model built to date and comes complete with improved technology including a more efficient hydrogen distribution system.

The vehicle works by combining hydrogen with oxygen in the fuel cell to form electricity, which flows to the motors of the vehicle, located in each wheel. As the car brakes, kinetic energy is generated and stored as electricity in the vehicles super-capacitors.

Riversimple claims that the vehicle can drive 300 miles on a tank of 1.5kg of hydrogen, far more efficient than other fuel cell models. The hydrogen is also compressed to 350bar rather than the traditional 700bar, meaning less energy is required and re-fuelling is cheaper.

To top it off, the Rasa produces a CO2 emission of 40g/km, making it more efficient than every electric vehicle on sale in the UK at the moment that uses electricity generation.

The vehicle is the product of Riversimple founder, Hugo Spowers, a former motor racer turned mechanical engineer.

Spowers began work on the hydrogen-powered vehicle 15 years ago, after becoming motivated to solve the problem of carbon-emissions being mass produced by vehicles, in an attempt to save the world.

In order to do this, Spowers realised he had to start from scratch and build a completely unique vehicle, knowing incremental change away from the regular combustion engine vehicle would not do the job he set out to achieve.

“Dinosaurs weren’t replaced by better dinosaurs,” said Spowers.

“Each of the changes demands that other things be changed. The whole system must change, in one leap.

“You can’t cross a canyon in two jumps.”

As part of Spowers dream to change the world, he has implemented a new age model of ownership for his vehicles as well.

Instead of selling vehicles, Riversimple will rent its fleet out to drivers who will pay a monthly fee which includes depreciation, maintenance and fuel costs. Spowers believes that this will lead to fewer resources being depleted and less pollution.

Riversimple will now focus on introducing more charging stations around the UK to make re-fuelling more accessible for customers.

The belief is that fuel cell vehicles will be able to co-exist with electric vehicles in the future as the automotive industry moves away from combustion-engine vehicles and towards more eco-friendly options.

Original source: Intelligentliving | The Rasa: A hydrogen powered car that emits water instead of carbon dioxide

15 Aug 2019