As we approach the final days of our first crowd round we thought we should share some reasons to invest. The numbers and financial projections are readily available once you’ve registered but here is the big picture.
Our business is focused on making efficient cars desirable and efficiency profitable. Bending great engineering and design to this task is indisputably good news for the environment, but it also makes sound business sense. The more efficient our cars are and the longer they are on the road, the more money we make. No need to cheat the regulations.
The Rasa is the car furthest on the road towards sustainability. It boasts the lowest CO2 well-to-wheel, the lowest particulates and NOx from tyres and braking (none from the exhaust – just pure water), the longest lasting cars, with maximum recovery of value at end of life. And at the equivalent of 250mpg, it is probably the most fuel–efficient vehicle yet designed for everyday road-going use (ie not a test or competition car).
This environmental performance is not at the expense of design and desirability.
We also believe in minimal clutter and will be seeking to (River)simplify even further. Our planned 20-car beta test will allow feedback to directly influence the development of the car and the service to deliver what customers really want and remove the things that they don’t.
A business model that delivers for the customer as well as the company
Offering the car as a service makes our cars affordable, de-risks uptake for the customer and takes the hassle out of ownership with an all-inclusive, cost-transparent service. Globally, consumers are shifting their perceptions. And this works to our advantage. Usership over ownership is a common theme in some clever and astonishingly lucrative businesses, from mobile phone providers to hire-by-the-hour cars. The future is ‘servitisation’.
Sustainability also makes sense for shareholders. Some businesses are starting to adopt circular economy principles to save money. We‘re a step ahead. Our entire business is designed not just to save money but make more profit, at the same price to the customer, with cars that are built for longevity, resource conservation – and, crucially, a resilient income stream.
A hydrogen lead in the UK
China, the world’s biggest car market, is now actively supporting fuel cell vehicle development with major subsidies, and countries like Japan and the US, regions known for leading innovation trends, are developing infrastructure for hydrogen.
Riversimple could give the UK a lead position in this technology. Compared to other hydrogen fuel cell cars, Riversimple’s vehicle has the same acceleration and range, but is a 3rd of the weight, a 13th of the power and 3x as efficient. Public refuelling stations in the UK are being opened, with more stacking up in the pipeline. These stations alone are enough to support our first 3 years of planned production.
Small-scale manufacturing, big talent
Small is beautiful and profitable in our case, but it is also scale-able; this broad spectrum of profitable scale is very rare and is a key strategy to derisk our business.
Our business model embraces small-scale, regional manufacturing operations that draw on the best the UK has to offer and our first phase of manufacturing could create 220 jobs locally in Wales. UK automotive talent is world-renowned and we’re already attracting engineers from the likes of Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce plc and aerospace. We also have the promise of material financial support from the Welsh government.
Improving air quality
Finally, and maybe most importantly, we are offering something that the world needs rather more urgently than autonomous vehicles. According to the Royal College of Physicians, c.40,00 early deaths a year in the UK are caused by air pollution. Just under 210,000 light delivery van journeys were recorded in Birmingham in 2015. Imagine replacing all those diesel delivery vans with non-polluting Riversimple hydrogen vans.
This is an opportunity to invest not only in a huge market but in a future that we all want to see and breathe.
Our current crowdfunding campaign has been approved as a financial promotion by ShareIn Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (603332). Capital at risk. Photography by Anthony Dawton.