Currently reading: Riversimple plans to produce up to three new models
UK-based hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer announces plans for another two-door model, a four-door car and a van

Riversimple has revealed plans to build up to three new models off the back of its Rasa hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV).

Two of the new models, one of which will be a four-seater car and the other a van, were announced at the London Motor Show. A third model - another two-door coupé - is dependent on the level of infrastructure in place in the future. Both of the shown cars (pictured) take styling cues from the Rasa and were penned by the designer of the Fiat 500, Chris Reitz.

Aerodynamic styling seen on the Rasa appears to have been carried over to the two new concepts shown at the London motor show. The four-seat, four-door model bears some resemblance in profile to the original Citroën DS. Meanwhile, the van’s design is a sleek interpretation of a light goods vehicle with covered rear wheels for improved aerodynamics and an angular, stepped window-line. 

The van, according to a Riversimple spokesperson, will be the company's second model. "Due to the similar use pattern as the Rasa, the two vehicles will have similar powertrains. The Rasa's community-centric, localised deployment will also be emulated for the van, which also suits its predicted use pattern."

The light goods vehicle will share components with the Rasa, and has been designed to be made in the same facility as the coupé.

Despite previous reports, the third model could be another two-door model, although it would be significantly different to the Rasa. Its introduction, however, depends on the level of infrastructure in place by the time Riversimple is ready to introduce a third product. Should FCV infrastructure still be as sparse as it is today, the model will be introduced to increase Riversimple's market penetration. In addition to this, Riversimple aims to support the hydrogen infrastructure, with increased numbers of hydrogen cars helping refuelling stations to break even as quickly as possible, with the idea being that this speeds up their more widespread installation. 

A Riversimple spokesperson told Autocar: "Riversimple will be operating from a different plant by the time the four-door model comes around. The model will achieve a greater range per tank of hydrogen, and will not share a powertrain with the Rasa, but will be based on the same architecture as the Rasa."

Where the Rasa is powered by an 8.5kW hydrogen fuel cell, the four-door model's will be around double this, with the Riversimple insider claiming 16-18kW as a targeted figure; although this means that the four-door model will cost more to run. None of the three models have projected build figures, although Riversimple plans to produce 3500 Rasas in 2018. 

The beta testing of the Rasa will begin later this year and continue into 2017, with Riversimple aiming for sales to start early in 2018.


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Merod 12 May 2016

Let's not forget....

Anyone remember the "Sony Minidisc"? The physical media which held digital files?

They we're killed because of solid state storage, higher bandwidth internet connections and forward thinking entrepreneurs (Napster el al).

Hydrogen cars are the Sony Minidisc of the automotive market.

Solid state storage is improving battery technology. Higher bandwidth is charging technologies and station networks. The entrepreneur is Elon Musk.

Hydrogen - too little too late - EV technology developed too fast for it.

Mike Miles 9 May 2016


Pininfarina BMC-1800 anyone?
bowsersheepdog 8 May 2016

More realistic potential

I'm not usually a fan of fussy design, but that van looks great despite its zealous detailing. The car isn't too bad, either, though it could use a little smoothing out around the bottom of the windscreen/top of the bonnet. As Jason says, it's early days for hydrogen, but if anything is ever going to replace the combustion engine it has more chance than electricity, which is going nowhere.