Category: News

31
Oct

TOMORROW’S AUTOMOTIVE

Riversimple Rasa at LCV16.  A serious surprise for the automotive professionals. 

“Business with impact, business that earns trust, sustainable business that will stand the test of time – that is what this is about” Estelle Clark, Riversimple

The Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) Event has been running for 9 years. It’s the premier UK event for the advanced propulsion sector, attracting representatives from right across the automotive industry and the engineering world.

Last year, at LCV15, Hugo Spowers, Richard Coltart and team Riversimple arrived with a chassis and a business plan. It was no ordinary plan. It’s not everyday that a start-up sets out to become a contender in the hugely competitive automotive industry. And it was no ordinary chassis. It was the basis of a ground breaking car, designed around a hydrogen fuel cell coupled with a bank of supercapacitors.

The car in the process of being built by Riversimple was little more than a framework. There is no doubt there were those who suspected it would never be driven on the roads. At that time, the hydrogen fuel cell at the heart of Riversimple’s groundbreaking network electric system had not yet been connected.  The Riversimple engineers literally had to push the chassis onto the stand.
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FAST FORWARD ONE YEAR

At LCV16 we arrived on site with Riversimple Rasa, a sleek, smart, production prototype hydrogen fuel cell car – 300 miles on a single refuel – 0 emissions or pollutants – 3 minutes to refuel – 580kg kerb weight – 8.5 kw hydrogen fuel cell – 1.9MJ supercapacitors – 4-wheel drive – 680Nm torque – on the road – offering rides and driving beautifully .

As an LCV delegate said to Richard Coltart, program manager responsible for taking the Rasa from concept to prototype, “Last year Riversimple looked like another academic project. Now you’re driving the prototype around the UK. I’ve come across to shake your hand.”

Together we have achieved something truly remarkable. To those who thought it could not be done..Well, it can.

The next step is to build 20 cars and test them.  This summer, we agreed the first trial of Rasa in the UK. We will be partnering with Monmouthshire County Council, to run a 12-month trial of 20 hand-built hydrogen cell cars for short term contracts. Which invites exciting new questions. What will we bring to LCV17 – LCV18 – LCV2020?

Where will we be in tomorrow’s automotive industry?

And will you be with us?

Invest in Riversimple at https://riversimple.sharein.com/invest

15
Aug

RASA ON THE ROAD OF TIME: CAR FEST NORTH

If Riversimple Rasa were a rock star, then Andre Bird would be the tour manager. Andre is actually head of the R&D workshop at Riversimple. He spent nearly 20 years flying the Royal Family around the country and the world, first as a crewman on helicopters and then as crew chief leader looking after the fleet. Leaving the Royal Air Force in 1997, he joined Williams F1 and spent the next 17 years in motor racing before his most exciting project yet – with Riversimple.  This summer Andre has also been accompanScreenshot 2016-08-03 14.12.07ying Rasa on tour!

Two weeks ago, for example, the tour team left at the crack of dawn for Car Fest North.  To try to paint a picture of the departure, you need to imagine the scene in Wales, as Rasa is loaded up by Andre and fellow engineer Bill – in his camping shorts!!  Well, you know, not all of us get such real-time excitement. So here are some of the most memorable moments, captured by Andre and the team at Bolesworth Castle with the car that is a bit of a super star:

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Memorable Moment no 1: “The tent is up”

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Memorable Moment no 2: “Just completed our first run in the time tunnel section and even had time to meet up with old F1 colleagues”

Screenshot 2016-08-03 13.52.22

Memorable Moment no 3: “The oldest car and the newest car share the track. Can’t wait for Car Fest South”

Car Fest South is on 26-28 AUGUST 2016 LAVERSTOKE PARK FARM, HAMPSHIRE. See you there!

PS. We would especially like to thank Oliver for his email on our return to base from Bolesworth. Here it is.

Hello my name is Oliver aged 13,

I took a particular interest in your Hydrogen car at Car Fest North at the weekend. Every day over the weekend I visited your car and chatted with Andre who told me lots of interesting facts. For example, the batteries in the Tesla model X weigh about the same as the whole of your car!! I am very interested in engineering and would like to come and visit some time, and maybe even get an engineering job at River simple!

Great to meet you and thanks again for making my weekend so memorable 🙂

 Andre replies:

It is always a breath of fresh air to have one so young with such an interest and to be so knowledgeable in motor cars and engineering in general. I am delighted that you found the information I passed on to you of interest and impressed that you recall some of the details i.e. Tesla battery weight etc.

 The only words of encouragement I can give you is that you attain the highest levels of education, if possible resulting in an Engineering Degree. This will open so may additional avenues for you. I have been so lucky in my career, starting as an Aircraft Engineer and then being able to transfer into Automotive (F1).

 There is an extreme shortage of Engineers in general in all industries so you have the opportunity to aspire to great things … and maybe one day join Riversimple as an Engineer.

13
Jul

RASA ON THE ROAD in 2016

The appearance of fresh new technology can make an ordinary day feel suddenly interesting. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a fantastic new car in the neighbour’s drive? Who wouldn’t pop across the road to take a closer look and have a chat?

Certainly we were delighted when our local MP Chris Davies arranged for us to park the Riversimple Rasa in New Palace Yard in the Houses of Parliament on June 15th 2016, just a week before the referendum was set to take place. There followed a steady stream of politicians, popping across to find out about the Riversimple Rasa. We encountered genuine interest and enthusiasm from representatives of all parties. Thank you.

It turns out this was the calm before something of a storm. Just eight days later and Westminster was transformed by a series of events. An MP was murdered, Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23, the Prime Minister resigned, in fact there was a wave of resignations and new leadership challenges. Suddenly everything we all thought we knew about Britain was up in the air.

And so these photographs have a special significance. They capture – not just famous faces; not just Westminster in the June sunshine; not just a remarkable new car, made in Britain and designed for a changing world – but a moment in time.

This summer, team Riversimple have been out and about across Britain with the Rasa.  We went to Manchester for Business Rocks, we found ourselves in a prime spot at the London Motor Show and we even took part in the famous hill climb at Goodwood.

We are based in Wales, and so we are especially delighted to have the support of Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure in the Welsh Government, who also went for a spin recently:

Ken Skates, Welsh Cabinet Seceretary for Economy Ken Skates

But we will never forget that moment at Westminster. We want to thank every single person who has come to see the Rasa, purchased shares (the share offer is still open) and added their names to the growing list of supporters. The times are indeed a-changing and the future is now in our hands.

18
May

RIVERSIMPLE UNVEILS NEW HYDROGEN VEHICLE CONCEPTS

 

Prince Michael of Kent is gripped

Prince Michael of Kent is gripped

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.

Will Priestner with Richard Noble at the London MotorShow

Will Priestner with Richard Noble at the London MotorShow

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

Hydrogen powered van concept

Riversimple hydrogen van concept

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.

THE SEDAN

Riversimple four door hydrogen car concept

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.

AERODYNAMIC STYLE

Riversimple designs are highly aerodynamic in their styling.  To understand aerodynamics, think of a wall of air that pushes against a vehicle in motion.

The Rasa in Piccadilly

The Rasa in Piccadilly

The Rasa crossing Albert Bridge

The Rasa crossing Albert Bridge

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.

20
Apr

RIVERSIMPLE, FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

Riversimple’s new share offer is not just about investing in new, clean technology, nor even in a ground breaking, inclusive business model.  It is also about investing in the wellbeing of future generations.  We have simple needs for good health and wellbeing.  One is being able to breath fresh, clean air.

Out with the old

Out with the old

Air pollution is linked to heart attacks, strokes, asthma and other respiratory diseases.  It is also linked to underdeveloped lungs in children.  Studies show that long-term exposure to pollution from traffic may reduce children’s lung capacity by as much as 20%.  Research in Europe suggests that up to 30% of new asthma cases in children are caused by exposure to air pollution.

A PRIMARY SOURCE OF AIR POLLUTION ACROSS THE WORLD TODAY IS TRANSPORT.

Children are especially vulnerable to the long term impacts of breathing polluted air caused by the combustion engine.  This can’t be OK.  At Riversimple, we have been working hard to develop a hydrogen fuel cell car with zero harmful emissions.  We launched Riversimple Rasa, built at our workshop in Wales, this March. News about the Rasa has travelled around the world.

Journalists have been excited about the Riversimple Rasa because:

  • There is zero air pollution at the tail-pipe
  • Riversimple are taking fuel efficiency to a new level
  • There has never before been a supercar that is not super expensive.

Our sale of service model means the Rasa ‘supercar’ will be affordable.  It’s not just for superstars.

THIS APRIL A NEW LAW CALLED ‘THE WELLBEING OF FUTURE GENERATIONS ACT’ WAS PASSED IN WALES.

The act is based upon an important study in which people across Wales were asked to talk about what matters most to them.  These conversations were distilled into seven basic Welsh values that include: giving children the best start in life; living within global environmental limits; and prioritising the well-being of all.

In with the new

In with the new

At Riversimple we support the Welsh Government’s ambition to help shape a better future for children and generations yet to come.  The world now has, at its fingertips, the technology to clean up transport systems and cut air pollution.  Help us take an important clean technology, the FIRST EVER BRITISH FUEL CELL CAR, to market.  Purchase shares in Riversimple

 

  • References for this blog:
  • www.wales.gov.uk
  • www.thewaleswewant.co.uk
  • The Lancet https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(13)70192-9/abstract
  • The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/15/study-air-pollution-traffic-low-birthweight
  • Campaign for Heathy Air https://www.healthyair.org.uk
  • Environment and Human Health Inc. (US) https://www.ehhi.org/reports/exhaust/summary.shtml

 

04
Apr

INVEST IN A COMPANY THAT IS DRIVEN DIFFERENTLY

YOU WILL NEVER OWN A RIVERSIMPLE RASA.  BUT YOU CAN OWN SHARES IN THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY.

Riversimple Movement Ltd is bent on bringing a new kind of zero emissions car to market.  We are a rapidly evolving enterprise in which all kinds of people are getting involved.  Our aspiration is sustainable mobility.  The success of the recently launched Rasa, a radically new and innovative hydrogen fuel cell car, is testament to our enduring commitment, combined skills and total determination as a team – we are driven differently.

The next step is to build a series of Rasa cars for the public to test and refine in a 12 month trial (we are calling it a Beta test) and for this we need your help.

In every sense we have built a car that is a pleasure to drive

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus. Photo: Anthony Dawton 2016

There is no trade-off between fun and sustainability – the Rasa is both: very responsive to the touch and fun to drive because it’s lightweight; lightweight, so more efficient in energy terms.

We will never sell a car

You wouldn’t believe how much money Hugo was offered for a Rasa car – but it is not part of the business plan.  The Riversimple Rasa fuel cell car will be available on subscription as a complete and cost-transparent service.  It’s a lighter, simpler transport option for customers and it leads to a longer term business relationship with a number of significant advantages.  Above all it is disruptive, turning the traditional business incentive to design cars for obsolescence on its head.  In fact, when you sell “mobility” as a service the business incentive is to design cars for longevity, low running costs and sustainability.

We won’t build giant factories but will be part of the local economy

Our manufacturing model = profitable, regional operations each making a maximum of 5,000 cars a year; creating new high skilled jobs, employing local people and promoting local sourcing where possible.

We believe in the health-giving properties of clean air

Don’t we all?  But we want more than monitoring and more than talk.  We are proactively pursuing answers to pollution and the implementation of clean, technologically advanced, infrastructure.  Our car is zero emissions, aero dynamic and highly efficient.

We are opening our doors…to you

CAD rendering of production design

We are opening our doors to new investors.  We will organise open days, when you can come and meet our super talented engineering team, find out what Will does at the weekend, about Andre’s previous life in Formula 1, how Hugo came to ski down a mountain with a piano, meet our brilliant board of directors and get the whole story behind the designing of the Rasa.

But more importantly we would like to hear your feedback and talk ideas with you. Because that is how Riversimple Movement will grow, and stay relevant, and overcome obstacles, and get 1000’s of Rasas on the road – and pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport without losing the very thing we love – the freedom to travel this wonderful world.  Lightly.

If you share Riversimple values, you will value our shares.

INVEST HERE >

DRIVEN DIFFERENTLY

26
Jan

FROM COMPLEX TO RIVERSIMPLE

Behind the excitement surrounding the forthcoming launch of the Riversimple Fuel Cell Car, are a specialised team of engineers, designers and business professionals. We are real people, working through a pivotal time for Riversimple, each with different skills and experience to bring to the table.

At the moment, everything is focused upon bringing new (disruptive) fuel cell technology to market, but the Riversimple Mk2 is part of a bigger picture – the changing requirements of day to day transport and the nature of the business model that underpins it. Riversimple’s purpose is “to pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport”. Everything we do – the design of the car, the structure of the business, the people we work with – is in pursuit of this goal.

We have attracted some top talent

Estelle Clark

For example, Estelle Clark joined us recently to take a new business leadership role as the Steward. Continue Reading..

09
Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM RIVERSIMPLE

2016 is a significant year for Riversimple. Back in October we ran our first test of the Mk2 at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells.

MK2 Powertrain

MK2 Powertrain

Everything went smoothly, with vital test data collected. The new powertrain, driven by a hydrogen fuel cell, is running like a dream.Continue Reading..

08
Jan

RIVERSIMPLE MOVEMENT

RiverSimple_logologo_riversimple_animation

We have changed our name from Riversimple Engineering Ltd to Riversimple Movement Ltd. This change reflects a growing organisation Continue Reading..

14
Nov

Riversimple at the National Exhibition Centre

At the beginning of November, Team Riversimple were to be found at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Riversimple at NEC. Presentation by Richard Coltart, Programme Manager, bringing the new car to production.

Riversimple at NEC. Presentation by Richard Coltart, Programme Manager, bringing the new car to production.

The annual Advanced Engineering Show has acquired an international reputation, attracting and demonstrating the latest developments in engineering. We had Riversimple’s Alpha Mk2 rolling chassis (the entire Hydrogen car minus external body shell) on show and it certainly attracted plenty of interest.

 

 

At present the design of the body shell is being kept under wraps, but from the point of view of the engineer it is the nuts and bolts of the interior that really fascinate.car-2

This is the culmination of fifteen years development at Riversimple. Designing around hydrogen fuel cell technology has allowed us to re-invent the car for the modern world. We have four electric motors, one in each wheel and these motors are also the brakes – recovering over 50% of kinetic energy when braking. There are super-capacitors to store this energy and the recovered energy is fed back into the system to provide 80% of the power for acceleration. The primary power source is a relatively low powered hydrogen fuel cell ( 8.5 kW) housed in a beautifully constructed framework of lightweight composites.

Our overall design gives us a groundbreaking efficiency and range, many times better than inserting fuel cells into conventional, heavy, vehicles. This also means it will be agile and fun to drive, and with a massive feel good factor, as we strive towards zero cost for the environment.

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