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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New UK Hydrogen Car Could Be a Game Changer for Commuters


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

Over the years, enthusiasm for hydrogen-powered cars has risen and fallen, closely following advances in electric car design. But one small UK company is pushing the hydrogen fuel cell car back into the spotlight, and its debut model is set to be unveiled tomorrow, Wednesday February 17.
That company is Riversimple, and the car—a pre-production prototype—looks to be a two-seater coupe with 300 miles of driving range and an equivalent fuel economy of 250 mpg. It has been designed with the ultimate goal of eliminating the environmental impact of personal transport altogether, and for commuters it may take big strides in that direction.


While the car’s finer details still remain unknown, Riversimple says the new vehicle will tip the scales at just 1146 pounds, feature a carbon fiber monocoque body that weighs only 88 pounds, and draw its energy from a low-power 8.5kW hydrogen fuel cell, located in the coupe’s rear.

Paired with a compressed hydrogen tank and a bank of super-capacitors up front (rather than conventional batteries), the fuel cell vehicle will power four electric motors mounted at each wheel, which individually provide around 118 lb.-ft. of torque and help the car along to its claimed 300 mile driving range. Due to the vehicle’s lower relative power and focus on longer range fuel economy, zero to 55 mph takes about nine seconds, at which point the coupe has reached its top speed. A fuel fill-up is said to take about three minutes.

The company is also looking to provide a unique value proposition for drivers in that all running costs will be bundled up into just one fee, which includes the cost of fuel. You won’t be able to buy one quite yet, however.


Riversimple says it plans an immediate initial production run of 20 vehicles, which will be delivered to a small test group this year, while customer cars will become available next year and in 2018. Stay tuned for more when the Riversimple hydrogen car is unveiled tomorrow.