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Riversimple is a revolutionary transport company, based in the UK. It is aiming to produce highly energy-effi cient vehicles for personal transport. Its first project is a twoseat, local car powered by alternative fuels. The issue A low carbon economy calls for an end to our reliance on fossil fuels. This includes petrol and diesel vehicles. Any switch to sustainable alternatives must however, take account of driver demand for speed, fuel efficiency and range between fuelling stops. The solution lies in the ability to generate electricity/power within the vehicle in such a way that it is lightweight and compact.
A low carbon economy calls for an end to our reliance on fossil fuels. This includes petrol and diesel vehicles. Any switch to sustainable alternatives must however, take account of driver demand for speed, fuel efficiency and range between fuelling stops.
The solution lies in the ability to generate electricity/power within the vehicle in such a way that it is lightweight and compact.
The Riversimple local car, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for personal transport, resolves this issue. It is powered by a chemical reaction that utilises hydrogen to produce the electricity which powers the car engine. As well as being eco-friendly, this ‘in-car’ capability supports long distance travel. It is quite different from an electric car that runs on electricity from the mains and cannot go very far without recharging.
Powered by a 6kW hydrogen fuel-cell, the Riversimple local car has a top speed of 50mph and accelerates from 0-30mph in 5.5 seconds. Its 1kg, 5,000psi hydrogen fuel tank gives it a range of about 240 miles. Its energy-equivalent fuel consumption is equal to 300mpg. Added to that it is virtually silent and fume-free with water, or water vapour, the only emission.
The brainchild of Hugo Spowers, the Riversimple project is supported by BOC, a member of The Linde Group. The support includes advice on hydrogen and hydrogen refuelling which will be vital to the success of the vehicle. This BOC engineering expertise is additional to early funding from The BOC Foundation which helped to get the car off the drawing board.
The business benefits
The Riversimple local car is a catalyst in the realisation of hydrogen powered, sustainable personal transport. It is a viable alternative to petrol and diesel car engines and supports long range driving between fuelling stops.
This improvement in energy efficiency has the potential to transform the transport sector. It promises to make the introduction of a national network of hydrogen fuelling stations much easier to achieve. Until now this has been a major challenge in the planning of future transportation systems. Better fuel effi ciency lowers the number of stations needed and increases the minimum distance between them.
BOC’s association with this British invention is testimony to its commitment to innovation and to wider use of cleaner, alternative fuels with low Global Warming Potential. That hydrogen powered vehicles could soon be a commercial reality fits well with the company’s corporate sustainability agenda and provides a solid foundation on which to plan the transportation systems of the future.
"Riversimple’s vision is to create a cleaner world where our relationship with the car and fossil fuels has changed dramatically for the better, with new solutions in place for sustainable mobility. Merely reducing the impact is insufficient as a goal; we want to ensure that everything we do is a step towards the elimination of the environmental damage of personal transport. By keeping it small and light, the Riversimple local car provides maximum mobility at the lowest cost with the least effect on the environment. We believe it has the potential to be the first-to-market fuel cell powered car."
- Fuel cell technology
- One of world’s first commercially viable hydrogen-powered cars
- Sustainable, energy efficient and eco-friendly – supports move to low carbon economy
- Long distance between refuelling – less infrastructure required and much more likely to be accepted by the consumer
- Silent and free from carbon emissions
- Viable alternative to conventional petrol and diesel engine
- Supports step-change in mass transport systems of the future