Yesterday I talked about the Riversimple Urban Car as an open source fuel cell vehicle that could spread like wildfire to Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, the U. S. and other countries with a budding hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
Since then I’ve heard from Toby Guise, a consultant for the Riversimple Urban Car who has some information to add. According to Mr. Guise,
“Main points are below:
1) The car is powered by a 6kw fuel cell versus 100kw in current production models like the Honda Clarity. This means, for the first time, you are driving around in something the size of Smart Car which uses a manageable amount of hydrogen, with attendant impact on range and efficiency.
2) The design will eventually be open-sourced on the internet, meaning the cars can be built and adapted around the world rather than in a few factories and then exported.
3) The cars will be leased with all fuel costs included – this removes the whole issue of a spare parts industry, obsolesce, and scrapping, and instead creates a vested interest in the longevity and re-usability of the material
So, aside from the technical feat of using a practicably small and cheap fuel cell, the car is also intended to:
1) unlock the debate about what a hydrogen economy would look like and;
2) undermine currents assumptions about R&D and manufacture, which will cause even hydrogen cars to be high impact if they are perpetuated.”
One additional key element is that the Riversimple Urban Car is said to be able to achieve 300 mpg equivalent when fueled by hydrogen.
The Riversimple Urban Car will be unveiled Tuesday 16th June at London’s Somerset House. Some of the notables attending the ceremony include the engineer behind the Riversimple, Hugo Spowers and its major investor Sebastian Piëch.