Among the high number of startups seeking to gain a foothold in the electric car market, there is one that stands out for the difference in its proposal. It is the British Riversimple, which wants to become the first independent manufacturer to try to launch a hydrogen car. A model that, despite the problems caused by the coronavirus, has maintained its commitment, and is now preparing its first functional prototypes.
The Riversimple Rasa is a small two-seater utility that mounts an 8.5 kW hydrogen fuel cell with a 1.5-kilo tank stored at a 345 bar pressure. It achieves a range of 300 miles needing only two minutes to refuel.
Among the keys to its design are very refined aerodynamics and the mounting of four engines, one on each wheel. An aspect that adds to its carbon fiber chassis allows it to eliminate the aluminum parts located in the front and rear of the first generation. With the resulting reduction in weight, it leaves the total at just 580 kilos.
Unlike the more common hydrogen-powered vehicles, which use a lithium battery pack, the Riversimple Rasa uses a series of ultracapacitors to power its engines. Allowing it to charge and discharge much more efficiently than models with lithium batteries.
Now the company has sent an email indicating that despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, they have continued to work on the development of their new prototypes. Prototypes that are are expected to have some improvements and will allow the public demonstrations phase to begin. A step before the start of sales.
A different proposal that will also reach the market with a subscription sales format, where the client will have to pay a monthly fee of about 500 pounds. It will include everything from maintenance, insurance, taxes, to hydrogen, with a small fee apart according to the km traveled.
A commercial model that some brands are experiencing, and that will be the basis of this small urban with hydrogen. Something for which they need a last financial boost, which they have sought to complete with a crowdfunding campaign that has already allowed them to raise more than £ 2 million on previous occasions, and which they have now concluded with great success by raising £ 396,000, or a 198% of what they hoped to achieve. A sign that there is a demand for this product.
Why are we crowdfunding? ✳️ We leapt into action to apply for the UK Gov’s investor-led #FutureFund, which was launched just last week.— @riversimple (@riversimple) May 28, 2020
Our special investor round with @Seedrs ends soon ▶️ https://t.co/FKrQBWK0NK
Capital at risk. Approved by Seedrs pic.twitter.com/uKi7JbtPeO
A proposal we will develop in the sophisticated private market, but which has great potential in the industrial sector. Where autonomy and recharging times can be crucial when electrifying goods or people transport vehicles, and which is already within the plans of a Riversimple that hopes to be able to develop new proposals once Rasa is launched.