February 17. 2016 was an exciting day for eco car lovers as Wales-based Riversimple Movement Ltd launched Rasa, a two-seater city car that runs on hydrogen fuel.
Driven by the “tabula rasa” principle, the hydrogen fuel cell eco car company said they set out to “design a car for the world . . . shaped by the best technology available to us and answerable to our most pressing concerns.”
The feat is marveled by some as the “Tesla of the hydrogen technology” considering that hydrogen fuel cell technology is still growing rapidly.
Riversimple head architect, Hugo Spowers, on behalf of his team of multi-talented, hard-working team of engineers and designers, acknowledged the substantial aid they received from business experts and sponsors.
The company obtained £2 million (US$2.85 million) grant from the Welsh government for its research and development, and €2 million (US$2.22 million) matched funding from the European Union for a public 12-month trial of 20 Rasa prototypes.
The newly launched hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle can travel 300 mi (483 km) with just 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) fuel, claiming fuel efficiency of 250 mpge (0.9 L/100km).
The Rasa is a road-legal two-seater prototype with “well-to-wheel” carbon footprint of 40 gCO2/km, making it the car with the world’s lowest carbon emissions per vehicle. Water, instead of exhaust gas, comes out from the eco car’s tailpipe.
It weighs just 580 kg (1,278 lb), about half the weight of most gas or diesel-powered mini cars available in the market today. Its can accelerate from 0 mph to 60 mph (96 kmh) in just 10 seconds.
Its 8.5 kW (11.4 hp) fuel cell powers 4 in-wheel motors and regenerative braking helps the Rasa recover at least 50% of the kinetic energy produced during braking. The excess energy is stored in the vehicle’s super-capacitors and gives the Rasa an acceleration boost.
Designer, Chris Reitz, dressed up the Rasa, giving it a futuristic-looking monocoque chassis made of carbon fiber composites. The super lightweight and strong chassis itself weighs just 40 kg.
Although not as high performing as other hydrogen fuel cell cars, Audi h-tron or Honda Clarity, the Rasa is a “fun little car” that offers a great, safe driving experience, remarkable fuel economy, and ultra strong carbon fiber framework.
At present, the Rasa is offered under a leasing contract, which includes repairs, maintenance, insurance, and fuel expenses covered by fixed monthly installments.
After the 12-month trial, Riversimple is set to start full production of the Rasa and launch the sale by 2018. In that time, we should see more of this full European type, road-legal car running the streets on hydrogen fuel.
Riversimple Fully Charged Youtube Video – https://youtu.be/utmkddBFUg0
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