With the support of Monmouthshire County Council, we are preparing to run a 12 month trial of 20 Riversimple Rasa hydrogen fuel cell cars in Monmouthshire, starting end of 2017 (exact date tbc). This test is partly funded by a grant from the European Union.
We are looking for 80 – 100 Beta testers.
We are very keen to recruit drivers who would like to take a Rasa on test for a 1 to 3 month period.We are interested in anybody who has a clean driving licence and who tends to use their car for local journeys. The Rasa has a maximum speed of 60mph, so it is not designed for long distance motorway travel. The cars will be hand-built, carbon fibre 2 seater cars, licensed to be on the road but not finalised for production.
We want feedback on the driving and the customer experience:
advantages, shortcomings, pleasures and fears.
We are excited to learn how you use the Rasa, how different it feels from conventional cars, what you miss (if anything), what needs improvement. We also want to learn how to present our unique service and how best to support our customers.
Our plan is never to sell a car. When we come to market, we will be offering customers the Rasa on a service contract, a bit like a mobile phone. A customer will typically sign up for a contract of 1 – 3 years, and pay a monthly direct debit which comprises a fixed cost for the car + a charge relating to mileage. Riversimple pays for all the hydrogen, insurance and all maintenance, tyres, etc.
Where do you get the hydrogen from?
We are currently going through the planning process to install a hydrogen refuelling point in one of the main carparks in Abergavenny. Refuelling is a simple process. The pump is self–service. You attach a hose to the car, step back to the pump and press a button. It will take less than 5 minutes to fill the tank with 1.6kgs of hydrogen and you’re ready to go for another 300 miles. No money changes hands when you refill – the bill for the hydrogen comes to us.
Only one refuelling point?
The Rasa has a range of 300 miles, which is a generous week’s driving for most people. If you have a reason to come into Abergavenny once a week or so, refuelling should not take you out of your way, but of course this is one of the things we want to assess in the trial.
What do I pay?
We want to test our pricing structure for the service and the billing system. When we come to market, we are aiming to offer the service at an equivalent price to the total cost of ownership per month of a new car like a VW Golf or Ford Focus. Pricing for the trial is not yet decided but there will be some costs to bear.
If you are interested in participating in this trial or have questions to ask, please register below. We want as diverse a group as possible and will be compiling a full list by September 1st. We may extend the trial beyond Monmouthshire so it may be worth signing up even if that location is not practical – nothing is more persuasive than widespread demand!