Teams at Oxford and Cranfield universities in the United Kingdom have developed the Riversimple Urban Car, a two seat fuel cell vehicle that will be unveiled to the public in Great Britain on June 16. The vehicle runs on hydrogen aided by ultracapacitors and uses regenerative braking for recharging.
The Riversimple Urban Car has a top speed of around 50 mph and a range of around 200 miles, so highway usage is out, but for tooling around town and in larger cities (especially those with a hydrogen refuelling station nearby) this car may be the ideal zero emissions vehicle.
The Riversimple Urban Car carries a Horizon 6 kw fuel cell and an electric motor powers each wheel. What makes the Riversimple Urban Car remarkable, however, is that this will be the first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that is intended to be leased over a 20 year period.
Another remarkable feature of the Riversimple Urban Car is that it is being developed as an open source car akin to software development, which will help it spread quickly to many different parts of the globe without the usual restrictions imposed by most car companies.