This May we have been at the London Motor Show, with the Rasa. As people flocked to see the car, Hugo (Spowers) made a special announcement to the press, revealing that we have further hydrogen vehicle concepts in the pipeline. London was sunny, the MotorShow was busy, and the Rasa prototype was a star attraction.
It’s an idea that sparks the collective imagination – a hydrogen fuel cell car, built in Wales, taking on industry giants with a smart new proposal for personal transport in the 21st Century. This year we have shown the world that Riversimple’s slick new technology is more than just an aspiration. The Rasa prototype is on the road and doing what we said it would do – and the world is taking notice.
A few years ago Riversimple Rasa didn’t have a name, or a design and the powertrain was very much under development. But if we hadn’t had a vision back then, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today. Here is an insight into the breadth and depth of the Riversimple vision today.
The van is one of the previously undisclosed designs by Chris (Reitz) for Riversimple. It’s based on the same groundbreaking technology as the Rasa and positioned as a local delivery and local service vehicle – but it’s also a smart looker, just right for carrying the surf boards to the coast at the weekend.
Looking even further ahead, Riversimple is exploring the possibility of a flexi-contract. With this option people with a Rasa car contract could possibly have an extra option to ‘book a Riversimple van’ for occasional use. Or indeed people with a Riversimple van contract could have the option to book a nippy Rasa car for a few days.
Development of a four-door Riversimple sedan is also very much a part of future plans. The sedan will be more powerful than Rasa, but dramatically lighter and more efficient than the five-seater hydrogen fuel cell cars currently being produced.
Riversimple designs are highly aerodynamic in their styling. To understand aerodynamics, think of a wall of air that pushes against a vehicle in motion.
From the 50s and 60s engineers in the racing world have experimented with different streamlined shapes to slip through that wall of air, making their cars go faster and handle better. In the racing world, it doesn’t matter if there is no space in the car for anyone or anything other than the driver. That isn’t the issue. Winning the race is the issue.
For Riversimple good aerodynamics mean improved acceleration plus far better fuel economy, because the engine doesn’t have to work so hard to push the car. But other design elements such as passenger comfort, space, elegance and safety cannot be compromised either. For example, a car shape that is very low and rounded, tapered so that air flows around it smoothly in motion – like a teardrop – is excellent in terms of aerodynamics. But it was a realization that the length of the car won’t affect aerodynamics which gave Chris and the design team something more elegant, more spacious and with much more potential to work from. This design idea is reflected in all Riversimple vehicles, from Rasa to our latest concept vehicles. Welcome to the Riversimple journey.