2 November 2016 – Simms Medal
5.00am. Riversimple Rasa is parked in Pall Mall, London. To be more precise, Riversimple Rasa is parked on a beautiful carpet at the Royal Automobile Club’s celebrated London Clubhouse in Pall Mall, London. Preparations for a special announcement are already underway.
The RAC was founded in 1897 by Frederick Richard Simms with the primary purpose of promoting the motor car and its place in society. Today it is an immense institution, widely felt to be the UK ‘spiritual home’ of motoring.
9.00am. At time of writing the news is if course embargoed, but later today Riversimple are to receive the Royal Automobile Club Simms Medal.
The Simms Medal is awarded in recognition of “a genuine contribution to motoring innovation by individuals or small companies,” and only in years when such an award is merited. The last winners were Williams Advanced Engineering. The team were awarded the Simms Medal in 2015 for the design, development and production of battery powered Formula E racing cars.
12.00 am. The scene is set. Today is not just about ambition, nor engineering achievement. It is not just about British innovation, nor proving that the hydrogen fuel cell deserves a place in a modern transport system. It is about technology that is relevant, smart, cleaner – a weapon in the fight to protect the environment.
As Hugo Spowers steps forward to receive the Simms medal, the journalists are already tweeting: “Riversimple scoops the Simms Medal” “Winning the Royal Automobile Club Simms medal is Riversimple for its Rasa hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.”
Looking back on past winners is humbling – Williams Advanced Engineering; Richard Parry-Jones CBE of Ford Motor Company Group; Professor Gary Savage of B.A.R. Formula 1 team for the carbon fibre gearbox; Mr. Mick Hyde of Radical Motorsport for the SR3 sports racing car. We are truly honoured to be in such prestigious company.
The whole Riversimple team has much to be proud of. We have many people to thank, not least the Welsh government. We have come along way. Accomplished a great deal. Defied a few odds. And now the road stretches out ahead of us.