“Just like a normal car”

There was a chorus of hoorays round our HQ in Llandrindod when we heard this from the first ‘normal person’ to drive one of the Rasas built for the Clean Mobility trial. We had no hesitation in inviting Andrew Davis, our Customer Custodian, to be the first behind the wheel and he took the Rasa for a 45 minute tour of the conurbations of Surrey on a blustery, rainy Tuesday 27th October.

Andrew has been a very important influence on Riversimple for the last 10 years. His role has been to represent customers’ interests and he is one of the six voting shareholders to sign off the strategic direction of the company on an annual basis.

As a borough councillor for Elmbridge in Surrey and the founder of Environmental Transport Association (ETA), Andrew has been very clear about where the priorities of good service lie, and has insisted that we bake those into our service design.  A good car is an important start.

Andrew’s verdict:  “Even with all the talk of Riversimple’s groundbreaking ideas over the years, nothing beats actually driving the Rasa.”

H2CXAnot so normal

The Rasa’s number plate sums up the role of this vehicle – H2 for hydrogen, CX for customer experience – but is also a form of protest about our number plate system.

Age-related number plates are a mechanism for building obsolescence into the marketplace for cars.  The age code is changed twice a year, mimicking the spring and autumn seasons in fashion, and triggers an artificial upsurge in car sales. The effect is to stimulate resource consumption, the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

At Riversimple, we are designing cars to last.  We will be maintaining, refurbishing and upgrading throughout the life of our vehicles so that an older car will be as good as a new one.  This is not unusual in aeroplanes.  We heard recently about the Boeing 747s retiring after 40 years in the sky – how come cars need to be replaced every 3 years?

So we’re not going for normal number plates.  Our plates reminds us that customer experience is key and we’re delighted with our Customer Custodian’s reaction:

“I must say that when we drove the Rasa back into my drive, I got out and looked back at it, I didn’t want you to take it back because it was clearly now mine”.

I think we can say that the Rasa is like a normal car but much more than normal, and of course Andrew, while representing normal people, is much more than a normal person.  Andrew is now stepping down after more than 10 years of supporting the development of Riversimple as Customer Custodian.

Thank you, Andrew.